Joan Mir converted pole position into his maiden Grand Prix victory after a frantic final lap at the Red Bull Ring. The Spanish rookie held off Brad Binder and Enea Bastianini to become the seventh different winner in 2016 and the first rider to win from pole since Bastianini’s maiden success in Misano last season.
With so many long straights putting an extra emphasis on a slipstream, a large leading group was expected but five riders distanced themselves from the field at the halfway stage. Binder enjoyed the early advantage ahead of Bastianini but Philipp Oettl was emerging as a surprise challenger along with the Leopard KTMs of Mir and Fabio Quartararo.
From a championship point of view, Binder’s cause was helped by the overnight suspension of Romano Fenati by his Sky VR46 team while Jorge Navarro had work to do from the sixth row. The Spaniard rode superbly though to reach the front of the chase group in sixth but just as he was beginning to cross the gap to the leaders, the Estrella Galicia rider lost the front end of his Honda at turn three, ending his race and possibly his title hopes.
With a lap to go, Mir held the advantage from Bastianini and Binder but a late lunge on the brakes at turn four brought Binder back into play. The South African couldn’t quite make the move stick though and with Bastianini edged wide in the mayhem, Mir capitalised to take a lead he would maintain until the chequered flag. Binder held onto second while a last corner lunge from Quartararo failed to pay off, handing third to Bastianini.
Oettl took a fine fifth while Jorge Martin won the battle of the second group to finish sixth, just ahead of rookie trio Bo Bendsneyder, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Nicolo Bulega.
Moto3 NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Osterreich (Race Result)
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