Brad Binder claimed his second consecutive victory after a superb tactical display in the closing laps of the French Grand Prix at Le Mans. The South African followed up his remarkable win at Jerez with a very different success in France, holding off the fierce challenge of Romano Fenati and Estrella Galicia pair Jorge Navarro and Aron Canet.
The opening laps saw some typically frenetic Moto3 racing with the leading group growing as large as eleven riders before the pace cranked up. Once the leaders began to settle into a rhythm, four had broken away with Fenati leading Binder, Navarro and Canet, winner of the CEV Moto3 race here last year. The rookie began to threaten a first Grand Prix win at the same venue when he climbed to second on lap fourteen but his experienced rivals quickly shuffled him back to fourth.
In the closing laps, Estrella Galicia’s hopes hinged on Navarro and the more-experienced Spaniard fought his way past Binder on the penultimate lap, diving past at Dunlop. This, however, would see the start of the South African’s charge to victory with Brad regaining P2 at La Chapelle before forcing Fenati to give way at the Bleu Esses. Romano, who had spent more time in front than anyone else, weaved left and right on the final lap but Binder defended his line superbly, not offering his rival a sniff.
Navarro saw off his teammate for the final podium spot while Nicolo Bulega edged out home favourite Fabio Quartararo and the third Sky VR46 KTM of Andrea Migno to finish a fine fifth. Polesitter Niccolo Antonelli faded to eighth while Jakub Kornfeil recovered from an off-track excursion at Chemin-aux-Boeufs to take ninth.
Moto3 Monster Energy Grand Prix de France (Race Result)
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