Brad Binder converted pole position into his second Moto2 victory of the season on a bittersweet afternoon for KTM at Aragon. The South African broke away in the closing stages to take a commanding victory but team-mate Miguel Oliveira lost crucial ground to title rival Francesco Bagnaia after finishing a lowly seventh, five places behind the series leader.
KTM’s hopes of victory rested on Binder’s shoulders from the moment qualifying came to a conclusion, with Oliveira only 18th on the grid, but the 2016 Moto3 champion wasn’t going to be afforded a clear path to 25 points with Alex Marquez snatching an early lead. With a queue of riders forming behind him, the pressure finally told on the Spaniard with seven laps to go as Binder barged through at turn 12, making slight contact with the Marc VDS rider on the way through.
Binder’s supreme consistency of race pace saw Marquez slip back immediately, the no.73 falling back into the clutches of Bagnaia and Lorenzo Baldassarri. At the start of lap 19, Bagnaia dived through into second at turn one but the delay in making the move stick had allowed Binder to pull 1.3 seconds clear and that was all the advantage he needed to claim his second win of the season.
Agonisingly, Marquez would be denied the final rostrum spot with Baldassarri edging ahead at the Corkscrew section on the penultimate lap, although fourth place did at least see him register his first points since the summer break. Marcel Schrotter couldn’t convert his front row start into a podium finish either, winding up fifth ahead of the second Marc VDS Kalex of Joan Mir.
Oliveira found life difficult on his way through the field, especially with the tight first corner preventing him from making his customary lightning start. The Portuguese rider finished half a second behind Mir in seventh while Mattia Pasini pipped Fabio Quartararo and Jorge Navarro, the latter failing to recover from a disastrous start which cost him 11 places.
Moto2 Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon (Result)
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