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Brad Binder led in a group of three #ktm riders with Joan Mir (ESP) of the Leopard #racing Team in second, and Andrea Migno (ITA) for Sky #racing Team VR46 taking the minor podium place. Mir also picked up the trophy for Rookie of the Year. Binder, who settled the title in Aragon before the series went to the three races in Asia, won by 142 points, the biggest winning margin ever in the small category bikes.
He started second on the grid but more or less inherited pole when rookie Aron Canet stalled on the line and had to start from pit lane. Binder was in the top three in the two opening laps and then seemed to experience problems in turn six and dropped like a stone from second to 22nd place, also briefly pulling off to the side of the track before opting to continue the race.
Binder: “Basically I’m not sure what happened. I opened the gas twice and the engine cut and the power came in again. It happened twice in two corners so I said, okay, something’s wrong. I thought maybe I was dripping oil in the track so I pulled off to the side but it looked okay, so I carried on. I thought ‘now its over’ but I pushed so hard and tried to limit the mistakes. To finish my #moto3 career like this is awesome.”
The South African, who has had a stunning season with seven victories and 14 podiums in the 18-round series simply put his head down, consistently set the fasted lap times and picked off riders until he was back in the lead group by the 16th lap. He hit the front in lap 21 but Mir, Enea Bastianini and Migno were determined to make it as difficult as possible for the 2016 champion to go out on a high note.
Then, in the middle of the scrap amongst the leaders, Binder went wide in lap 22 and slipped back to fourth place. His day was not done, though and he put in two brilliant laps to steal the lead back in the final lap.
Mir, who won in Austria in the middle of the season, was understandably pleased to finish on the podium. “It’s amazing, my third podium of the season. I am very happy for the team and for me. This podium means so much to me and thanks to my team. We struggled a lot in the early races but finally we’re on the podium so thanks to them.”
Migno, whose team worked hard overnight to repair his bike after a crash on Saturday, said the race had been difficult. “It was a tough race right from the beginning. I tried to start very fast and after two corners I was already in a good position. I saw I was very fast and I tried to push in front to see what happens.” It was Migno’s second podium of the season and he said this one was even more special than his last in Assen.
Binder’s Red Bull #ktm Ajo teammate Bo Bendsneyder had the job ahead of him even before the race began. He was one of three riders who were docked 12 grid places for riding infringements during the practice rounds, as race officials tighten up the penalties for this activity. He did well to wrap up the last round in the points in 13th place. While Binder remains with Ajo Motorsports and moves up to Moto2 in 2017, Bendsneyder will stay in #moto3 with the team next season.
The three-way #ktm podium sweep in the final round also preserves the Austrian manufacturer’s unblemished streak of #moto3 victories at the Spanish circuit. Five of the top 10 riders were on the #ktm RC 250 GP.
Results #moto3 Valencia 2016
1. #bradbinder (RSA), #ktm, 40:13.777 min (24 laps)
2. Joan Mir (ESP), #ktm, +0.056 sec
3. Andrea Migno (ITA), #ktm, +0.081
4. Enea Bastianini (ITA), Honda, +0.147
5. Fabio di Giannantonio (ITA), Honda, +0.713
6. Juanfran Guevara (ESP), #ktm, +0.899
8. Philipp Oettl, (GER), #ktm, +3.145
11. Raul Fernandez (ESP), #ktm, +8.081
13. Bo Bendsneyder (NED), #ktm, +8.603
14. Fabio Quartararo (FRA), #ktm, +9.283
17. Nicolo Bulega (ITA), #ktm, +9.652
20. Andrea Locatelli (ITA), #ktm, +18.712
22. Karel Hanika (CZE), #ktm, +18.976
29. Daniel Saez (ESP), #ktm, +48.861
DNF Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA), #ktm, +21 laps
DNF Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG), #ktm, 0 laps
DNS Maria Herrera (ESP), KTM
Final Standings #moto3 2016 after 18 of 18 rounds
1. Binder, 319 points
2. Bastianini, 177
3. Jorge Navarro (ESP), Honda, 150
4. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA), Mahindra, 145
5. Mir, 144
7. Bulega, 129
9. Locatelli, 96
10. Romano Fenati (ITA), #ktm, 93
12. Oettl, 85
13. Quartararo, 83
14. Bendsneyder, 78
17. Migno, 63
21. Guevara, 50
24. Rodrigo, 31
30. Dalla Porta, 12
31. Herrera, 7
32. Fernandez, 5
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