The riders lined up on an extremely wet track at the Automotodrom Brno for the 11th round of the Moto3 in the Czech Republic. The rain completely throws the Moto3 wide open, and allows certain riders to show their talents, like John McPhee who won his first ever Moto3 aboard his Peugeot MC Saxoprint Mahindra.
Riders penalised ahead of race
Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Andrea Migno had been penalised having to start a row behind where he qualified in second which meant that Gresini Racing Moto3 rider Enea Bastianini and Pull & Bear Aspar Mahindra Team rider Jorge Martin now completed the first row.
Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing Moto3) benefited from gaining a place on the grid too. Schedl GP Racing team rider Philipp Oettl and Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) had also been moved back a place.
Brad Binder leads into 1st corner of the race
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder led into turn one of the Moto3, there was so much spray and standing water as they began the 20 lap race. Within a few corners Brad Binder made a mistake and went down to fourth and Martin became the new race leader in the very wet conditions. Bastianini was in second and Kornfeil in third ahead of Brad.
Pawi on the move
Khairul Adham Pawi (Honda Team Asia) loves the wet and already he was making his way through the field and was up to twelfth by the end of the first lap from down in 29th on the grid, as Martin pulled away at the front. John McPhee was also on the move aboard his Peugeot MC Saxoprint Mahindra.
As they came to turn one for the second time at the beginning of lap two, Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team) made his way past Bastianini who had appeared to be holding him up. Rookie Aron Canet soon got past the Italian too on his Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda.
Scottish rider McPhee was thriving in the wet
McPhee had continued to progress through the ranks and midway through the second lap he got past Di Giannantonio, and then Bastianini, which is where he became fourth.
Canet overtook Kornfeil at the end of lap two but Kornfeil bit back and a few corners later regained second; when Canet had a moment at turn 14 when he was nearly thrown off the bike but just ended up and out of his seat.
Kornfeil made modifications during the race
Kornfeil had to remove some tape of the radiator to stop the Honda from overheating midway through lap three, and as he tried to get it out of his way he lost three places falling down to sixth. Brad Binder was able to make his way back up to second by the end of the lap as the others became distracted by his actions.
Joan Mir, who won the last race in Austria (his first Moto3 win), looked good in the wet on his Leopard Racing Team KTM, but by lap four Pawi had made his way up to behind him in seventh and it was not long before the Malaysian took the place from the rookie.
First crash in the race from Rodrigo
Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA Racing Team) crashed out at turn 14 of lap four but the Marshals were able to help him get going. He re-joined the race and was seen adjusting his handlebars with his fists as he returned to the track.
On the next lap, lap five of the race, despite having a huge moment where he was thrown up and out of his seat, Pawi gained two more places and managed to set the fastest lap so far of the race. He was lapping 1.4 seconds faster than the leaders.
Brad Binder on the move
Heading into turn one of lap 6 Brad Binder had caught Martin and took the lead from him. Soon Martin lost another place to McPhee who appeared to be following Brad Binder; he seemed to have more corner speed than the Spaniard.
Martin was now third ahead of Canet in fourth but Pawi was closing the gap down. Di Giannantonio was learning from Pawi in the wet and was being pulled along by the Malaysian setting the fastest lap on lap six.
The front six riders looked to have broken down into three sets of pairs; McPhee was pulling away behind Binder, Canet looked to be being held up by Martin, and Pawi continued to close in with Di Giannantonio in tow.
Canet attempts to overtake Martin
Canet waited until the crossed the start-finish line to try and overtake Martin as they came onto lap eight, but Martin was much braver on the brakes and Canet had to remain in fourth. He ran through a couple of puddles after that which meant he lost some momentum allowing Pawi to close in on him more.
Unfortunately then at turn three of lap nine Canet came off and crashed into the gravel trap. He struggled to get it going again with the assistance of the Marshals. It was race over for the Spanish rookie.
McPhee had set the fastest lap on lap nine as he continued to chase Brad Binder, was he watching and waiting until the perfect time at the end of the race to make his move?
Pawi caught the leaders
As they entered turn one of lap ten, Pawi, who had caught Martin, made his move and cleanly overtook the Spaniard. There was now a couple of seconds between him and McPhee who looked to be close to making an attack at Brad Binder on the front. He reduced the four second gap between him and the front two by half a second within a few corners.
Adam Norrodin (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team) crashed out at turn ten of lap ten.
Eight laps to go
Eight laps remained and Brad Binder who had set the fastest lap on lap 11 had began to pull away at the front. A gap of over a second had started to open up, it was nearly two seconds by the end of the lap.
With seven laps remaining the battle began between Di Giannantonio and Martin, for fourth. The Italian was trying to get past the Spaniard and ran off the track at one point in an attempt to get past.
More crashes in the wet
Albert Arenas (Peugeot MC Saxoprint) crashed out at turn fourteen after the back end slid and then re-gripped causing him to high-side. He was thrown over the bike and looked to be in pain as he supported his right arm cautiously; he looked to have damaged his collarbone.
Francesco Bagnaia (Pull & Bear Aspar Mahindra) also crashed out at turn one moments later; it was a similar accident to Arenas, but he appeared unhurt when he was thrown off the bike when he touched the accelerator.
The Moto3 race began to settle
It seemed the first three places were decided, it was just a matter of them not making a mistake. Behind the battle for fourth, Navarro, Kornfeil, Mir, and Bastianini were battling for sixth. Mir seemed to be the man trying to make the move on Kornfeil, they were three-a-breast heading into some corners, amazing to see in such harsh conditions.
Kornfeil soon got past Navarro, and later Mir made his move on Kornfeil. Navarro managed to get past the two of them though. The battled continued on track for what was fifth before…
Brad Binder crashes out
Brad Binder crashed at turn one as he started the 15th lap. The rain had started to fall harder and as soon as he got on the power at the end of the turn he lost the back end and was thrown off the bike and into the gravel.
He couldn’t get the bike started and just stood at the side of the track looking shocked and disappointed and he saw his championship points slip away. Most importantly he did not appear hurt.
The Scotsman leads the race
McPhee the Scot was now leading the race with four laps remaining and as they came to the end of the lap, Pawi was the next to crash at turn 12. Again touching the throttle when he exited the corner he was thrown over the bike and into the gravel. He too stood at the side of the track in shock; all his hard work was completely undone.
More riders fall victim to the conditions
Stefano Valtulini (3570 Team Italia) was the next victim of the rain as it continued to pour; he crashed at turn 14 of lap 16 out of 17th position on the race. Andrea Locatelli (Leopard Racing) crashed a few laps later at turn 12.
McPhee just had to finish the race
McPhee led by over eight seconds ahead of Martin with three laps to go. Di Giannantonio was now on the podium in third as a result of Brad Binder and Pawi crashing out. It was down to Navarro to finish at the front of the following group in the race; now was the chance for him to close the gap between him and Brad Binder in the championship.
Then McPhee had a huge moment. As he came to the end of the 17th lap, he began to accelerate out of turn 12 when his bike threw up in the air… his heels clicked! But he managed to save it and when he regained his seat he continued to race, he kept his lead and began to calm down as his crew on the pit wall advised.
As the Moto3 started the last lap, McPhee had a huge lead over Martin who was still being followed closely by Di Giannatonio. Bastianini now led the group though ahead of Antonelli, Kornfeil, Mir. Navarro who was at the rear of the group was caught by Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) who pushed him down to tenth. Bensneyder went on to take seventh.
The Flying Scotsman wins in the wet
McPhee the Scott did it! He won the 2016 Czech Moto3 aboard his Peugeot MC Saxoprint Mahindra. His first ever Moto3 win! The second win ever for a Mahindra in conditions that were so harsh… well he was probably used to them being a Scot!
Martin finished the race in second, and Di Giannantonio claimed the last spot on the podium in third.
Bastianini claimed fourth, Antonelli fifth, Kornfeil sixth and Bendsneyder, Mir, Bulega and Navarro completed the top ten. Navarro was only able to gain six points on championship leader Brad Binder.
Jules Danilo (Ongetta-Rivald) finished 11th ahead of Migno in 12th, Tatsuki Suzuki (CIP-Unicorn Starker), Loi and Oettltook the last championship point available in 15th.
Wildcard Karel Hanika (Freudenberg Racing Team) just missed out on the points in 16th, he finished ahead of Rodrigo who made his way up to 17th after his crash. Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) was 18th and the only female in the class Maria Herrera (MH6 Team) finished the race in 19th.
Hiroki Ono (Honda Team Asia), Fabio Quartararo (Leopard Racing), Fabio Spiranelli (CIP-Unicorn Starker), Juanfran Guevara (RBA Racing Tream) and Lorenzo Petrarca (3570 Team Italia) completed the grid in 24th.