Brad Binder heads KTM 1-2 at Phillip Island

by Ryan Lilly

Red Bull KTM Ajo took their first 1-2 of the season at the Australian Grand Prix after a dominant performance at Phillip Island.

Brad Binder, who took his second win at Phillip Island in as many years, took the early lead on the run into Doohan’s and immediately started to pull out an early lead over the pack, only his teammate Jorge Martin could go with the South African.

The winner of the last two races, Luca Marini, was taken out of the race along with Marco Bezzecchi by an over-ambitious Iker Lecuona at turn 4. Lecuona was slapped with a long lap penalty.

Hindered by a poor qualifying, Moto2 championship contender Tom Luthi picked his way through the pack before eventually moving onto the podium, passing poleman Jorge Navarro.

Further back, championship leader Alex Marquez was caught up in a race-long battle with Tetsuta Nagashima, Lecuona and Stefano Manzi who had made a strong start to his Australian Grand Prix on board the MV Agusta.

Marquez’ teammate Xavi Vierge crashed out of top ten contentions early on, after losing the front at turn 4.

Brad Binder hung on to take the win, despite a late lunge from teammate Martin, with Tom Luthi picking up his sixth podium of the year.

Jorge Navarro hung on to fourth whilst Lorenzo Baldassarri fought his way to fifth ahead of homeboy Remy Gardner and Lecuona.

Alex Marquez’s lead was cut to 28 points after the Spaniard finished the Australian Grand Prix in eighth whilst Manzi and Nagashima completed the top ten.

Marcel Schrotter lead Nicolo Bulega and Jesko Raffin home to complete the top thirteen, whilst Fabio Di Giannantonio fought his way up to fourteenth after an earlier incident saw the Italian take evasive action at turn 4.

Bo Bendsneyder took the final points-paying position.

With Brad Binder picking up his 3rd win of the season, he now moves up to third in the Moto2 World Championship, 33 points behind Marquez.

The penultimate round of the season in Sepang gives Marquez his second, and more realistic, chance of wrapping up the title.

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