Brad Binder defeats Alex Marquez in Austria for first '19 KTM Moto2 win
KTM’s Brad Binder took his first Moto2 victory of 2019 at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, holding off Marc VDS man Alex Marquez by less than a second.
Binder made a good start to take the lead from pole-man Tetsuta Nagashima into Turn 1 before building a small advantage over now second placed Xavi Vierge as the first lap was completed.
Vierge soon began to reel in the South African though, closing onto the back of him within a few laps while bringing Nagashima with him.
Binder was able to stretch away soon after as the Japanese rider moved into second ahead of Vierge, although disaster was just around the corner.
Vierge missed his braking point into Turn 4, clattering into the back of Nagashima’s SAG Racing machine and eliminating the pair from the race.
Despite later coming under pressure from both Remy Gardner and Marquez, Binder was able to hang on for victory just hours after KTM announced they would bring their Moto2 project to a close at the end of the season.
Marquez settled for second from 11th on the grid as he failed to get close enough to Binder for a late-race attack, but extended his championship lead over Thomas Luthi who could only manage sixth in the race.
Jorge Navarro brought Speed Up yet another rostrum in 2019 in what was a strong race from the Spaniard, while the Pons Racing pair of Lorenzo Baldassarri and Augusto Fernandez completed the top five.
Jorge Martin meanwhile rounded out a great day for the factory KTM team as he achieved his best Moto2 finish to date with seventh ahead of new signing Iker Lecuona, while Marcel Schrotter and Mattia Pasini brought their Intact GP and Tasca Racing Kalex’s home to round out the top ten.
Gardner looked good to fight for victory until the end on the second of the SAG bikes, having made several attenpts to snatch away Binders lead.
The Aussie ran wide at Turn 1 with just half-a-dozen laps remaining though and made contact with Marquez as their lines converged. Gardner went down and retired from the race as a result.
Another leading pair to clash late on was Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini. Marini tried to dive down the inside of the Italtrans rider into the fast Turn 9, but tucked the front of his Kalex and went down- collecting Bastianini in the process.
The pair subsequently ended the race in the gravel, Bastianini seemingly injured as he was stretchered off the circuit.