Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) has taken only his second ever GP win at MotorLand Aragon, coming back from some difficult races and bad luck with a spectacular victory – but the man behind him over the line, key title rival Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), did everything he needed to do on the day – and crossed the line P2 by only 0.030. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3) completed the podium in third as Binder swept through to take the crown with an incredible final corner – close to the win, but more than enough for the championship. Racing to win has been the South African’s MO in 2016, and MotorLand Aragon was no different.
Bastianini and Navarro maintained their 1-2 off the line, bolting from the pack as their last stand against Binder’s title chances got underway. Essentially needing a win to stay in it or a disaster for the South African, the Spaniard and Italian took off in clean air for a few laps – until Binder started to reel them in.
Grey skies, cool air and twenty laps of MotorLand remained.
With 14 of those laps to go, Binder had caught the duo and a front group of the three plus Philipp Oettl (Schedl Racing GP) and Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was formed, with the World Champion elect then sat in the middle of the customary Moto3™ freight train at the front – with Bastianini and Navarro also tagged into the eleven-long group.
The front group became four as the field battled it out and some close calls drew quick breaths, with the three at the top of the title standings joined by Bastianini’s breakaway teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio, with Binder beginning the final laps in P4. The South African knows that situation well – and waited until the last minute to really pounce, breaking incredibly late into the final corner to take the lead briefly, before Navarro just moved through on the inside. With a 106 point advantage before the race and that over Bastianini rather than Navarro, the South African crossed the line World Champion.
Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) had an incredible ride up through the field after a difficult qualifying following suffering a fever on Friday, and the Mallorcan crossed the line in P5 at the head of the second group on his rookie Moto3™ world championship weekend in Aragon. Jorge Martin (Gaviota Aspar Mahindra) impressed returning from injury to finish the race behind his compatriot, with fellow Spaniard Canet taking seventh.
RBA Racing Team’s Gabriel Rodrigo and Juanfran Guevara had solid top ten finishes in eighth and ninth, with Phillip Oettl finally completing the top ten after leading early on.
With the crown won at MotorLand, Binder becomes the first man to achieve that feat – and inks his name into history not only as only the third ever South African World Champion, but the undisputed King of Moto3™ in 2016.
From the back of the grid, from pole position, breaking away at the front or battling on the last lap – the South African has done it all on his title quest and now heads into the flyaways with the throne secure: four races, no pressure, and a new trophy.
Moto3™ Race Results
1 – Jorge Navarro (SPA) HONDA 39’56.973
2 – Brad Binder (RSA) KTM +0.030
3 – Enea Bastianini (ITA) HONDA +0.107