Binder takes magnificent second position to open the year on a high20/03/2016
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider claims first podium of the season in Qatar, missing out on victory by just 0.007s. Bo Bendsneyder debuts with fourteenth place and two points.
The Moto3 World Championship season got underway this Sunday with the first race of the year in Qatar. There were great results for Red Bull KTM Ajo, as the team took their first podium of 2016 thanks to Brad Binder’s second place finish, and a fourteenth position for Grand Prix debutant Bo Bendsneyder.
Frantic overtaking typical of Moto3 was on display at the Losail International Circuit, and Brad Binder performed excellently throughout the 18 laps. Starting from the second row, the South African was third after Lap 1 and led the race after the next time around. It was a position he was reluctant to give up at the head of a six-rider group, riding at a strong pace. He would fend off attacks on the final two laps, but a slipstream on the home straight saw him beaten to the chequered flag by just 0.007s.
The Qatar GP was also a great race for Bo Bendsneyder. The rookie, who was contesting the first Grand Prix of his career, was in a large second group in the battle for tenth place. Rounding off the pack in seventeenth place, the Dutchman waited until the last lap to move up the order, crossing the line fourteenth and claiming his first points in the World Championship.
Next up for the Moto3 World Championship is Round 2 of the season, which takes place in two weeks’ time at Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina.
1. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 38:12.161
2. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.007
3. Francesc Bagnaia (Mahindra) +0.148
4. Romano Fenati (KTM) +0.435
5. Enea Bastianini (Honda) +0.606
14. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +12.726
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2016
1. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 25 points
2. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 20 points
3. Francesc Bagnaia (Mahindra) 16 points
4. Romano Fenati (KTM) 13 points
5. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 11 points
14. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2 points
Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“It was a great start to the season, I’m really happy. Already in preseason we felt we were prepared for this season, and now we can say that we are. Brad [Binder] had a very solid race; I think it was hard to decide what to do on the straight, which is rather long for Moto3 bikes when deciding a strategy. Brad decided to push and lead the way, so as not to not get into trouble with traffic. He wanted to be the No.1 and has already come close to that; I am very happy with second place. As for Bo [Bendsneyder], as I always say, I am very proud of his calmness and professionalism, considering how young he is. In short, we had a great preseason and a great start to the season. Congratulations to the whole team.”
41 BRAD BINDER
“It was a race in which I was leading the group on almost every lap to try to take the victory. On the final laps I tried to ride the best line in order to keep my position and see if I could get some luck on the final straight. I pushed very hard but it was very tough as the straight is very long. I had to keep on the gas, and I gave my all, but it wasn’t to be. I’m happy with this first podium and with the work done by the whole team this weekend. I want to thank them for that. There is a long season ahead, there are many races and a second place to start the season is fantastic.”
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
“It was a good race; I learned a lot. I began too calmly, so many riders passed me at the start and on the first laps. Later I got my feeling back, pushed and gained some places in the middle of the race, but it was too late. What I’ll take away from this Grand Prix is everything I have learned and the fact that we have scored our first points. I want to thank the whole team for the work they’ve done over the past few days. I will try to apply everything we have learned at the next round.”