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MotoGP Argentinian GP

MotoGP Argentina GP: Binder wins sprint thriller from 15th on the grid

KTM’s Brad Binder won a thrilling MotoGP Argentina Grand Prix sprint race having started from 15th on the grid to beat VR46 Ducati duo Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini.

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

A difficult qualifying for KTM left Binder down in 15th ahead of team-mate Jack Miller, but the South African rider made a blistering start to jump up to fifth on the opening lap.

Binder took the lead on lap three and bolted into the distance to ultimately keep a hard-charging Bezzecchi at bay by just 0.072 seconds to become the second-ever sprint race winner in MotoGP.

Bezzecchi rebounded from being punted wide in the early stages and dropping to eighth to take the chequered flag in second where he started, while championship leader Francesco Bagnaia was demoted on the last lap to sixth by poleman Alex Marquez.

Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli made the best launch from fourth on the grid at the start of the 12-lap sprint contest to hit Turn 1 in front.

The Italian ran wide, however, and allowed poleman Marquez to come back into the lead on his Gresini Ducati as the VR46 duo of Bezzecchi and Marini folded in behind.

Binder shot to the inside of the grid off the line and simply carved his way up the order to get into fifth come the end of the opening tour.

Morbidelli brilliantly took the lead from Marquez on the outside of Turn 9 later on the first lap.

Binder moved up to third at the end of the first tour and capitalised on a big moment for Marquez exiting Turn 4 to ease into second to give chase on Morbidelli.

Morbidelli would succumb to the KTM rider’s advances on lap three as Binder scythed up the inside of the Yamaha through the fast Turn 11 left-hander.

As Binder eked out an advantage, Morbidelli held onto second from Marini, who survived lap one contact with team-mate Bezzecchi.

Bezzecchi found himself knocked down to eighth at Turn 5 on the second lap, but was back into the podium places on lap nine.

By lap seven, Binder had opened a lead of two tenths over Morbidelli and doubled this next time around as Marini closed in on the Yamaha rider.

Marini made a move stuck at Turn 9 on lap nine to take second, which gave Binder a lead of eight tenths.

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

On the following tour, Bezzecchi overtook team-mate Marini at Turn 5 on lap 10 for second having passed Morbidelli the tour prior and began his pursuit of Binder.

Bezzecchi nailed his run out of Turn 4 on the final lap to line Binder up for a move on the brakes into Turn 5, but couldn’t get close enough.

Binder rode defensively over the final few corners to keep Bezzecchi at bay by 0.072s to win, with Marini completing the podium a further 0.877s behind.

Morbidelli held onto fourth as Marquez stole fifth from Bagnaia on the final lap, with Maverick Vinales getting an Aprilia, carrying wing damage from early contact, to seventh.

Vinales was the sole factory Aprilia at the chequered flag as team-mate Aleix Espargaro crashed out of seventh on lap nine at Turn 9.

Pramac’s Jorge Martin and a struggling Fabio Quartararo on the sister factory Yamaha took the final sprint points in eighth and ninth, with Miller missing out on his KTM in 10th.

LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami was the top Honda rider at the chequered flag in 11th from Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio, Johann Zarco (Pramac), RNF’s Raul Fernandez and Alex Rins on the sister LCR bike.

Tech3 rookie Augusto Fernandez was the last classified finisher in 16th, with Honda’s Joan Mir crashing out on the opening lap of a sprint for the second week in a row.

Despite his scrappy race, Bagnaia has extended his championship lead by a single point over Vinales to 13 heading into Sunday’s grand prix.

Cla Rider Bike Laps Time
1 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 12  
2 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 12 0.072
3 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 12 0.877
4 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 12 2.354
5 Spain Alex Marquez Ducati 12 2.462
6 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 12 2.537
7 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 12 2.643
8 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 12 3.754
9 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 12 3.856
10 Australia Jack Miller KTM 12 5.143
11 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 12 5.574
12 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 12 6.965
13 France Johann Zarco Ducati 12 7.568
14 Spain Raúl Fernández Aprilia 12 7.725
15 Spain Alex Rins Honda 12 8.687
16 Spain Augusto Fernandez KTM 12 9.040
17 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 8  
18 Spain Joan Mir Honda 0  

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