SA's Brad Binder clinches maiden Moto2 victory

<i>Image: AFP</i>
<i>Image: AFP</i>

South Africa’s Brad Binder clinched his maiden win in the Moto2 class of the MotoGP world championship at the Sachsenring in Germany on Sunday.

Binder became the first South African to win in the intermediary class of MotoGP in nearly 40 years since Kork Ballington’s 1980 win at the Nurburgring, also in Germany.

Binder showed competitive pace throughout the weekend, and has consistently finished inside the top ten during the first nine rounds of the 2018 season.

Early crashes

Two crashes in the early laps gave Binder, the 2016 Moto3 world champion, a window of opportunity to push his Ajo Racing KTM into the lead.

Tire wear issues showed in the closing laps, with Binder having a massive front-end slide at the start of the final lap.

The South African held firm however and never allowed second-placed Joan Mir within striking distance.

Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia finished the race in 12 th position, taking his total points score to 148, after an incident with Luca Pasini in the early stages pushed him into the gravel.

Binder’s team mate Miguel Oliviera is second overall in the championship. He finished fourth.

Binder said: "I had good pace all weekend. Especially on Saturday and this morning I was very strong. The race was awesome – I felt I had a little bit more pace when I was following the guys in the beginning. So I decided not to waste any time and to try and break away.

Honestly I think I made a mistake…when it got to 10 laps to go I had zero rear tire left. I didn’t expect to win, I could barely touch the throttle."

"It’s been an incredibly hard year,” he added, thanking his team for the hard work. It just shows. If you keep on working, it will come."

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