Moto2: Binder fast out of the blocks

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Brad Binder has come out the Moto2 blocks blazing on Friday at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to beat Marcel Schrötter’s free practice one time by 0.087 to go top overall, but the German rider remains second at the end of action. Mattia Pasini, also by virtue of his time from the morning session, completes the top three.

Binder got in his groove in the afternoon and was able to top FP2 by over two tenths from Schrötter, with Iker Lecuona finishing third in the session and fourth overall after improving by over three tenths. That was despite a fast crash at turn one for the Spaniard, who headed to the medical centre for a checkup.

Fifth overall is title race leader Francesco Bagnaia, who had a positive start to the weekend on which he faces his first match point; able to improve by over two tenths in FP2. Who was just behind him? Last year’s winner and biggest rival Miguel Oliveira; and it was by just 0.021 seconds.

Alex Marquez was another rider to improve his time from FP1 and the Spaniard ends the day seventh overall, just over half a second off Binder’s pace. Fellow Spaniard Augusto Fernandez ends up eighth fastest despite crashing at turn four in FP1, another good result for the returner to the class, with Xavi Vierge and Andrea Locatelli rounding out the top ten.

FP2 saw a host of fallers in the Moto2 class, however. Khairul Idham Pawi collided with stand-in Tech 3 Racing rider Bryan Staring at turn four, with the latter to be assessed on Saturday morning to see if he’s fit to continue – and Jorge Navarro suffered a second fall of the day at turn four at almost the same time. Steven Odendaal, Simone Corsi, Tetsuta Nagashima and Luca Marini also all crashed.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer