Brad Binder tightened his grip on the 2016 Moto3 world championship with victory at Mugello in one of the greatest Grand Prix races in recent history. The South African won a five-way drag race the finish line on the last lap with just two seconds covering all fifteen points-scorers in a race littered with slipstreaming manoeuvres and lead-changes from start to finish.
In an extraordinary race, eight different riders led across the line with several others enjoying time at the front between but one of the key lead changes came on lap ten when polesitter Romano Fenati ground to a halt, the chain having come off his Sky VR46 KTM. Incredibly, this promoted Italian rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio into the lead with the Gresini rider making rapid progress from sixteenth on the grid.
Shortly after half distance, Binder hit the front for the first time and that wasn’t the only piece of good news for Red Bull KTM Ajo with Jorge Navarro, Binder’s closest championship rival, crashing out on the same lap after colliding with Juanfran Guevara.
Although the leading group still featured over twenty riders, the chief threat looked to coming from Leopard’s Fabio Quartararo whose KTM looked perfectly set-up for the long home straight. The Frenchman slipstreamed his way from fifth to first on lap twelve before hitting the front again with two to go but Binder crucially outbraked him into San Donato on the final lap before defending his line beautifully from there.
In the end, despite being shadowed by four riders on the exit of Bucine, Brad held on for victory with Di Giannantonio clinching a remarkable second ahead of Francesco Bagnaia, Niccolo Antonelli and Quartararo who was shuffled back to fifth despite crossing the line just 0.077 seconds behind the winner.
With Khairul Idham Pawi and Aron Canet crashing on the last lap, Hiroki Ono was promoted to sixth ahead of Joan Mir and Nicolo Bulega while Guevara, who escaped punishment for his tangle with Navarro, taking ninth ahead of Andrea Migno.
Moto3 Gran Premio d’Italia TIM (Race Result)
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