Brad Binder in Austria: “Today was an incredible day”
Brad Binder celebrated his 24th birthday by winning the Austrian Moto2 Grand Prix, but more so he won KTM and Red Bull’s home race. The victory comes after a somewhat disappointing Czech Grand Prix where a new chassis did not deliver the promised performance.
For the Austrian round, Team Ajo resorted to an iteration of their previous chassis, the one that saw Binder clinch podiums at the Dutch and German rounds, and one that showed much better performance at the Red Bull Ring circuit.
Binder started the weekend clinching the top spot after the two practices on Friday, followed a place on the front row after Saturday’s qualifying. During the race, Binder holeshotted into turn one and was able to lead for the entire 25 laps. There was no shortage of pressure, though, with a train of riders catching up – followed by a series of crashes – however, the South African showed his signature resilience, never putting a foot wrong once and leading through the chequered flag.
“Today was an incredible day. I knew we had a solid pace and that this was a good circuit for us. Achieving victory in front of all these fans of KTM and Red Bull is an insane feeling. It is something that I have never experienced before. I’m very happy and I want to thank KTM and Red Bull. My team have worked hard and tried their all throughout this year so far. It feels good to be able to return the favour with a result like this. Tomorrow we have a test and I think we will try some options to maintain our competitiveness.”
It is believed that the team will work on the chassis used in Brno during today’s test in an attempt to extract better performance from it. We shall see the fruits of their labour during the next round at Silverstone on 25 August when they reveal what chassis they are using.
Sadly, it will be unlikely that we will see any further updates after KTM announced their withdrawal from the Moto2 class at the end of this year, meaning Binder and his teammate will be the last KTM factory riders in Moto2. Also, it could mean Binder is the last KTM race winner in the class.
With this victory, he moves up a spot in the championship to 7th but seems too far away in the points standings to mount a realistic charge on the championship, however, more race wins will not go amiss.
Results Austrian GP (Moto2 Race)
1. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 37:24.963
2. Alex Marquez (Kalex) +0.330
3. Jorge Navarro (Speed Up) +1.839
4. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) +2.183
5. Augusto Fernandez (Kalex) +3.303
Moto2 World Championship Standings 2019
1. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 181 points
2. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 138 points
3. Jorge Navarro (Speed Up) 126 points
4. Augusto Fernandez (Kalex) 121 points
5. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 115 points
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 109 points