After a wet and miserable qualifying, and showers throughout the night before the 2016 British MotoGP at Silverstone, the damp track was dry enough for the Moto3 race. Seventeen laps of full throttle action, tactful positioning, and late braking stood between Brad Binder and that podium; he won the race after a hard battle.
Bastianini led into the first corner of the British GP
Qualifying second on the grid, Gresini Racing Moto3 rider Enea Bastianini led into the first corner when the lights went out and the race got underway. Silverstone is a very fast track and it meant that the 250cc machines would be at full throttle for the majority of the time and that key points of the circuit were influential to everyone’s success when challenging to be at the front.
Stowe, the right-handed corner at the end of the main straight, would see the most action. Bastianini led up until there on lap one but fell to third when pole position man Francesco Bagnaia (Pull & Bear Aspar Mahindra Team) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) benefited from the Italian’s slipstream and overtook him into the corner.
Bastianini retaliated quickly though and regained his lead going through the chicane at Vale, but Bagnaia was then able to get up the inside of him on the right-handed corner at club and took the lead. Bagnaia led across the line when they completed the first lap.
Injured Albert Arenas retired from the race
Unfortunately for Spanish Peugeot MC Saxoprint rider Albert Arenas, he did not finish the first lap. He has recently undergone surgery on his collarbone after breaking it in a training incident.
Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA Racing Team), who has looked strong the last few rounds found himself in contention of fighting for a place at the front and as the riders approached Stowe for the second time, he briefly led when he overtook Bagnaia. Bagnaia fought back though but then again became caught out on the next lap when Brad Binder, who had positioned himself ready, took advantage and took the lead for the first time.
Amazing start from Navarro
Second in the championship, Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider Jorge Navarro, only managed to qualify 18th on the grid, but by lap four he was already up to tenth chasing the group of seven riders that had begun to break away.
On lap five, Bagnaia was able to briefly reclaim the lead from Brad Binder, but Brad then decided to throw his KTM up the inside of Bagnaia and this allowed Leopard Racing Team rider Joan Mir to come through too. By lap six Bastianini was able to get back to the front again at the overtaking hotspot that was Stowe, but Brad Binder regained the front spot at the same place on the next lap.
Retirements from the British GP
Leopard Racing Team rider Fabio Quartararo unfortunately crashed out of the race with 12 laps remaining. Later on in the race Stefano Valtunlini (3570 Team Italia) was forced to retire due to problems with the bike. Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) also crashed out in the closing stages. All riders were unhurt.
Di Giannantonio makes his way to the front after Navarro
Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing Moto3) had managed to tag himself on the back of the lead group, following in the tyre tracks of Navarro who had made his way further through the field of seven riders that also included Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Nicollo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold).
On the eighth lap, Mir had managed to push his way past Brad Binder to take the lead but just nine laps into the race, Navarro had made his way from 18th on the grid to the front and he led the race for the first time.
The riders approached Stowe for the first time since Navarro was in the lead, they queued up behind him ready to attack at the end of the straight, but the Spaniard remained defensive and prohibited anyone from trying to take advantage of the long slipstream on the straight when he ‘closed the door on them’ heading into the turn.
Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) had now joined on to the lead group. As the Moto3 riders made their way through the third sector, both Brad Binder and Mir were able to overtake Navarro forcing him down to third position. Mir led again temporarily, but then again at Stowe, Navarro and Bastianini were able to overtake the Spaniard and Navarro again found himself in the lead.
Twelve riders fighting for the podium
There were now 12 riders fighting for the podium with just eight laps of the race remaining. Further down the field, the 250cc class had broken into smaller groups, some lone riders worked to catch those in front as several battles continued in the same way as the leaders.
Brad Binder regained the lead on lap 11, but by the next lap, Navarro managed to overtake him on the inside and again led the race. There were several riders fighting for the inside line on the approach to Vale, and on several occasions it was three, sometimes, four-a-breast as they headed through the chicane.
Lap 13 and Navarro continued to lead, the group was now made up of 15 determined riders, behind them MH6 Team rider Maria Herrera was leading a group of seven riders; a very impressive performance from the only female in the pack who is definitely able to stand her ground.
Bagnaia reclaims the lead
Just four laps remained and Bagnaia was able to reclaim the lead as they headed into turn one of lap 14. Bastianini was in second ahead of Navarro, Brad Binder, and Di Giannantonio. Bastianini was able to overtake Bagnaia at Stowe, who was then left to battle with Brad Binder for second.
Binder succeeded and on the next lap again at Stowe overtook Bastianini to take the lead again. It still looked to be anyone’s race as the four-stroke machines roared around the track at Silverstone, the sound of the engines echoing through the stands.
Navarro hopes for a win lost when he is knocked out of the race
Unfortunately for Navarro, all the work he had done from the start up until the penultimate lap was about to be all undone. Heading through Vale, another bike bumped into Migno who in turn bumped into Navarro and pushed the unexpected rider off his 250cc Honda.
As Navarro was unaware of his fate, he was unable to do anything to prevent coming off and ended up on the floor. He was stunned and took his time getting up, as Migno ran over to him straight away to check him and assist him to his feet. A few moments passed and eventually Navarro was able to stand.
Selfless sportsmanship from Migno
Migno showed a lot of concern to his fellow competitor. So much that the Marshal was about to wheel his bike away. He ran over and jumped back on and the Marshal was able to help get him going again. Migno was able to go on to finish the race but it was game over for Navarro who was forced to retire; his chances of closing the gap in the championship slightly between him and Brad Binder was ruined.
Brad Binder wins the 2016 British GP
Brad Binder was out in front as they made their way around the British circuit just one more time. Brad Binder won the race, just 0.183 seconds ahead of Bagnaia in second who was the highest placed Mahindra. Bendsneyder finished third making it two Red Bull KTM Ajo riders on the podium; it was Bendsneyder’s best ever result and the first podium for the rider from the Netherlands.
Amazing result from Manzi
Now while the front runners had continued to battle, in true Moto3 style, there had been much more action behind the leaders. There was a significantly amazing performance from Italian Mahindra Racing Team rider Stefano Manzi. The youngster qualified 34th on the grid, but he had managed to make his way up through the pack to finish the race in fourth position; his best ever result after a brilliant performance.
Behind Manzi was rookie Nicolo Bulega on his Sky Racing Team VR46. The Italian finished fifth in the race claiming 11 points, and also managed to set the fastest lap of the whole race on the final lap with a time of 2:15.336. His time was just less than two seconds off the Circuit Record Lap set by Moto3 rider Jakub Kornfeil (2:13.664) in 2014, and just short of three seconds slower than the best ever lap set by Navarrro last year (2:12.440).
Bastianini settles for seventh
Di Giannantonio finished the raced in sixth position as the top Honda ahead of Bastianini in seventh. Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider Aron Canet was eighth ahead of Mir who ended up in ninth despite leading earlier on. Northgate Mahindra Aspar rider Jorge Martin completed the top ten.
Rodrigo, who had also briefly led was 11th ahead of Philipp Oettl (Schedl GP Racing), Jules Danilo (Ongetta-Rivacold), Andrea Locatelli (Leopard Racing), and Kornfeil, now racing for Drive M7 SIC Racing Team, claimed the last of the championship points available.
British rider McPhee finished outside of the points
Just outside the points was Juanfran Guevara (RBA Racing Team) in 16th. He finished ahead of Scottish rider John McPhee who could only manage 17th at his home round aboard his Peugeot MC Saxoprint. Lorenzo Dalla Porta who recently replaced Romano Fenati who was fired at the Sky Racing Team VR46 finished 18th ahead of Hiroki Ono (Honda Team Asia) and Livio Loi (RW Racing GP BV) who completed the top 20.
Darryn Binder (Platinum Bay Real Estate) finished 21st ahead of Khairul Idham Pawi (Honda Team Asia), Adam Norrodin (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team) and Marco Bezzechi (Mahindra Racing). Tatsuki Zuzuki (CIP-Unicorn Starker) finished up in 25th ahead of Herrera and Fabio Spiranelli (CIP-Unicorn Starker) in 27th. Lorenzo Petrarca (3570 Team Italia), Migno and Antonelli who got tangled up in the incident completed the grid.
Binder extends his lead in the championship
Brad Binder has extended his championship lead to 204 points with his win, Navarro’s DNF means he remains in second on 118 points. He is becoming at risk to Bagnaia who is currently in third with 110 points. The top three in the championship consists of a KTM, Honda, and a Mahindra.
Bastianini is 4th with 103 points and rookie Bulega is currently fifth with 100 points. He has moved above his recently sacked teammate Fenati in sixth on 93 points, Di Giannantonio is seventh ahead of Mir, Antonelli, and Kornfeil who completes the top ten.