Red Bull KTM Ajo World Champions regains 21 positions and takes his seventh victory of the season. Bo Bendsneyder finishes in the points once again, in 13th.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo team rounded off 2016 in the best possible way, finishing the season at with a win thanks to Moto3 World Champion Brad Binder. The South African handed the team their third consecutive win at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, where they have dominated in recent years, and ended his time in the class with a stellar performance. Climbing from 21st place, Binder earned his seventh win of the season and signed off in style. Bo Bendsneyder, who started 20th due to penalty handed to him after qualifying, finished in the second group fighting for the Top 10. He crossed the line in 13th place.
At the start of the contest, Binder up into the top positions, although a problem on Lap 2 dropped him back down to 22nd. Despite being 5 seconds off the race leader, he used a steady pace to climb up the order lap-by-lap, reaching the lead group with 10 laps remaining. He took the lead with 3 laps to go, and after several back-and-forth overaking moves on the penultimate lap, took the top spot definitively on the final lap of the season to take victory number seven.
Bendsneyder had qualified eighth for the Valencian GP, but was forced to start from 20th due to a penalty. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie had to fight to get into the points and a good start put him fifteenth on the opening lap. Throughout the race he was part of a nine-strong group of riders battling for tenth, and finally finished thirteenth.
With the Valencia GP concluded, Brad Binder ends the year as World Champion with 319 points. From next week he will ride the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 bike as he moves up to the intermediate class. Bendsneyder ends the year in 14th place with 78 points, and will begin preparation for the 2017 Moto3 season next week season with two days of testing -alongside new teammate, Niccolo Antonelli.
Results – Race
1. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 40:13.777
2. Joan Mir (KTM) +0.056
3. Andrea Migno (KTM) +0.081
4. Enea Bastianini (Honda) +0.147
5. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Honda) +0.713
13. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +8.603
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2016
1. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 319 points
2. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 177 points
3. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 150 points
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Mahindra) 145 points
5. Joan Mir (KTM) 144 points
14. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 78 points
Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“It is difficult to find the words to define this season. Before the race started it was a very emotional day for Brad [Binder] and the performance he gave us, despite the problems at the beginning, is another example of what he has been able to do on the bike all season. It’s been a historic season, in a way. I am very grateful to be able to work with riders like him and with a team like ours. Bo [Bendsneyder] finished the race well. He didn’t feel good with new tyres, but as the laps went by he was able to find a good pace and do well. I am happy because he has finished the season well, and in the coming weeks he will continue working with the team to improve for next year.”
41 BRAD BINDER
“I wanted to finish my time in Moto3 with a victory, but I did not expect to do so. Something happened to me, but I could not understand it and I moved aside to see if everything was in place. I lost two laps checking that the bike was working well before I pushed hard again. To come back and win the race was incredible. I am very happy and I cannot be more grateful to the team for the incredible year we have had. Now it’s time to think about Moto2. I had been counting the days to get on the new bike. It is very important for me to move to a higher class and I am very motivated. This season has gone much better than I expected, and winning the title with four races to go and getting seven wins is incredible. I’m on cloud nine and I can only thank the team.”
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
“I can not say that I am completely happy about today. The bike worked great; with new tyres it behaved a little nervously, but once they began to wear I gained more confidence and a better feeling and went faster. From the second half of the race to the end I had a great pace, but I lost a lot in the first seven or eight laps. The penalty was a shame, but it was my mistake and I need to work on it. In the end, we came back from 20th to 13th and we earned three points that allow us to finish in 14th position overall, so I am quite happy. I want to thank the whole team and above all Aki [Ajo] for believing in me; It was a good season for us. We have taken two podiums and quite a few Top 10 finishes. I’m already looking forward to Wednesday’s test.”