Australia Moto2: Binder scores win, Marquez struggles
Brad Binder took a lights-to-flag win at Phillip Island ahead of Ajo KTM teammate Jorge Martin as Moto2 championship leader Alex Marquez struggled and finished only eighth.
Binder made a better start than pole-sitter Jorge Navarro and led into Turn 1, with his teammate Martin also passing the Speed Up rider for second on the opening lap.
The Ajo duo then stayed first and second until the chequered flag with Binder claiming his third win of the season.
Only Navarro and Tom Luthi were able to stay with Binder and Martin in the first half of the race, but even they lost ground as the race came to a close.
Martin was able to keep up with Binder for the most part, at one point even looking stronger, but he never upset his championship-contending teammate's run before losing a bit of time in the end and finishing 1.9s adrift.
He still secured the best result of his rookie Moto2 season and stood on the podium for the second time in a row.
Luthi passed Navarro for the final podium position, the Intact GP rider remaining Marquez's closest title challenger, cutting the gap by eight points to 28.
Pons rider Lorenzo Baldassarri led a group of riders to secure fifth ahead of Remy Gardner (SAG Kalex) and Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM), who recovered from a long lap penalty - received for dive-bombing both Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi on the opening lap.
Marquez was fourth after the start but he spent the whole race coming under pressure from other riders and was overtaken by several rivals.
He was battling with Tetsuta Nagashima (SAG) for ninth but was eventually able to salvage eighth by passing Stefano Manzi (Forward MV Agusta) on the penultimate lap. Manzi and Nagashima completed the top 10.
Marquez's Marc VDS teammate Xavi Vierge crashed at Turn 14, while Somkiat Chantra took Dominique Aegerter out at the same corner.
With two races to go, five riders remain in the title battle, with Binder, Navarro, and 19th-place finisher Augusto Fernandez (Pons) sitting 33, 43 and 50 points respectively behind Marquez.
|4||Jorge Navarro||Speed Up||25||08.151|
|14||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Speed Up||25||20.255|
|26||Dimas Ekky Pratama||Kalex||25||01'21.622|
|27||Dominique Aegerter||MV||24||1 lap|
|Somkiat Chantra||Kalex||14||11 laps|
|Xavi Vierge||Kalex||3||22 laps|
|Mattia Pasini||Kalex||3||22 laps|
|Luca Marini||Kalex||0||25 laps|
|Marco Bezzecchi||KTM||0||25 laps|
|View full results|
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