Brad Binder put it all on the line today including his massive cojones to win in Austria.
MotoGP: ‘The highest level of motorcycle racing’ – side effects: ‘raised heart rate, temporary blindness from hiding behind the sofa and a lost voice from shouting’. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you know you’re watching the right channel.
What a race today, Brad Binder has taken a stunning MotoGP victory on a soaking wet track on a bike set up fully for the dry with no carbon brake covers, no rain suspension settings and most importantly slick tyres on a completely wet track. The South African KTM Factory rider put everything on the line today taking an extreme risk to take victory at the Austrian Grand Prix, saying ‘nah’ to going down pit lane with Marc Marquez, Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge Martin, Joan Mir and Fabio Quartararo, instead staying out on track being promoted to P1 and hobbling his way to the line with a 10-second a lap disadvantage to his competitors who had opted to go down pit lane.
Many riders also tried staying out with Aleix Espargaro, Valentino Rossi, Luca Marini and Iker Lecuona all running in the podium positions after staying out with Brad, unfortunately for these other riders they either ran wide in the case of Aleix trying to stay on the racing line or were overtaken by the riders previously mentioned who went down pit lane who were lapping much quicker than their competitors who stayed out on the slicks, these riders looking like amateurs riding a bike for the first time, despite Valentino Rossi being amongst them. We were incredibly close to seeing Valentino Rossi take his 200th podium but sadly it wasn’t to be.
The race started officially declared as dry but the white flag with the red cross were shown on the opening lap which indicates to the field there is water on the track and the surface grip is affected, therefore the entire grid knew that they were facing a possible wet race. For Francesco Bagnaia he didn’t care, the Italian pushed ahead of the field to lead most of the race despite attacks from many riders including Fabio Quartararo, the Yamaha unable to match the sheer power of the Ducati with Pecco easily re-overtaking Fabio down the straights.
Pecco was untouchable, smooth, concentrated and rode a perfect race with a win absolutely on the cards until the rain and Brad Binder’s balls ruined his strategy, if Binder had pitted Bagnaia would most likely have won, but this is Brad Binder and he doesn’t give a single care in the world.
Fabio Quartararo rode an incredible race even making contact with Jorge Martin mid-race along with some incredibly impressive overtakes on Marc Marquez to fend off the eight-time world champion, Fabio’s overtakes including a rather incredible three-man overtake going into turn three despite a very wet track.
Marc Marquez looked certain to take a podium, he raced consistently within the top three but his strategy of using a soft tyre meant finishing the race in the dry was not an option, he had opted for the soft to ensure he had the speed to lead the group going into the flag to flag meaning he would finish in first at the end, of course this didn’t go to plan and he crashed at turn one after changing his bike to the wet RC213V, eventually picking up one point in P15.
Another rider who had a strong race and nearly a podium was Iker Lecuona, the 21-year-old ran as high as P8 in the dry before falling back to P10, opting to stay out on track when everyone else pitted, this meant he was running in a very strong P3 on slicks before he was overtaken by the riders on wet tyres, unable to do anything about this.
Jorge Martin doubled up taking back to back podiums in Austria on the Ducati, an incredibly strong weekend for the Spaniard who also took pole position, this was his first-ever flag to flag and he made it look like it was his 100th, he led Joan Mir in P4 with Luca Marini in P5, Marini was another rider opting to not go down pit lane and has been rewarded with his best MotoGP result yet, really impressive risk management from the Spaniard ahead of Iker Lecuona then Fabio Quartararo who on the wet bike went incredibly wide at turn one costing him some positions, very nearly crashing in the same place as Marc Marquez.
Valentino Rossi took a season-best P8, not a bad ride from The Doctor given he also decided that going down pit lane wasn’t worth it, using his experience to guide himself around finishing ahead of Alex Marquez then Aleix Espargaro who really did screw it, going from P2 on the last lap to P10 after running extremely wide out of Aprilia’s first-ever podium.
Jack Miller and Alex Rins were the first riders to go down pit lane during the race, unfortunately doing it two laps too early not taking advantage of the slower riders on track, because of this they lost too much time and finished in P11 and P14 respectively.
Full results –
Featured image – KTM Media / Polarity Photo