Binder wins a thriller at Aragon ahead of a charging Navarro

by Robert Jones

Brad Binder took his second victory in as many years at Aragon after holding on in the final stages ahead of Jorge Navarro and Alex Marquez

The South African rider started the race from third, but took the lead heading into turn one ahead of Luca Marini and championship leader Marquez.

In fourth place was pre race favorite Augusto Fernandez, but that would soon change as the 21 year-old slid out of contention on the opening lap at turn nine.

It was a devastating mistake for the Spaniard’s championship hopes, as he managed to remount, but could only manage a twenty-second place finish in the end.

The error by Fernandez promoted Thomas Luthi into fourth place, who was under increasing pressure from Navarro before losing the spot on lap five. 

At the front, Binder was setting a good pace and managed to create a gap of eight tenths over Marini and Marquez. The duo were tantalisingly close but couldn’t reel in the KTM rider.

With Binder making no mistakes lap after lap, and Marquez and Marini changing positions multiple times, it allowed Binder freedom at the front and this led to the gap growing further and further.

With Binder’s lead soon reaching two seconds, Marquez and Navarro made their moves on Marini and started to distance the Italian rider.

Behind that trio was Sam Lowes who caught Luthi for fifth, and after spending a few laps behind the Swiss rider, Lowes made his way past on lap twelve.

With seven laps remaining for race leader Binder, the Spanish duo of Marquez and Navarro started to bring the gap down, as Binder was losing rear grip.

Four laps later, and the gap was down to only one second with all three riders looking in prime position to challenge for the win. 

But just as Binder was insight, Navarro went ahead of Marquez as the Marc VDS man was also starting to struggle with rear grip performance. 

However, Navarro had no such issue and was on a charge as the leaders started their final lap. The lead for Binder was down to four tenths, and just when it looked inevitable that Navarro would get an unlikely but spectacular win, Binder put together an unbelievable lap to keep the lead and deny Navarro the win. 

Behind the front three, positions four, fifth and sixth all stayed the same over the line with Marini taking his third top five finish of the year.

Fifth was Lowes who matched his best result of the season to finish ahead of Luthi, who is now joint second in the championship standings with Fernandez. 

Seventh was the impressive Iker Lecuona, who held on in the final few laps to finish ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri in eighth and Jorge Martin in ninth. 

Xavi Vierge took his third consecutive top ten finish with tenth place, ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio and Nicolo Bulega in eleventh and twelfth respectively.

Rounding out the final points scoring positions were Remy Gardner, Stefano Manzi and Marco Bezzecchi.

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