With steady rain falling all throughout the race and tyres spraying water high into the air, there were two safe bets for victory in Brno. And good thing they weren’t worth the investment as both Khairul Idham Pawi and Brad Binder failed to live up to expectations, the two crashing in the final laps of the race and handing a comfortable victory (as comfortable as could be in these conditions) to Scotsman John McPhee, adding a new name to Moto3’s winners list. Behind him, Jorge Martin and Fabio di Giannantonio added the Spanish and Italian flag to the podium.
Binder had started well but Jorge Martin took over at the front by the time the first lap was completed. The championship leader then dropped to fifth as local rider Jakub Kornfeil and rookie Aron Canet made their way into podium contention. Martin started to build a gap in front, reaching a full second ahead of the group led by a resurging Binder. The chaser group seemed to have settled with Binder, McPhee and Canet dropping the rest of the pack and pulling back Martin. Once he dealt with him, the South African found his way to the top to lead for most of the race.
Pawi had made up fifteen places on the first lap, working his way to the top, needing only eight laps to catch up on the lead group, taking Fabio di Giannantonio with him. Just as the Malaysian was reaching the group, Aron Canet crashed out gifting Pawi fourth place and dibs at attacking Jorge Martin.
While all that was going on, Binder and McPhee took off at the front by over three seconds. Once past Martin, halfway through the race, Pawi struggled to bring down the gap as McPhee gradually dropped out of Binder’s spray but maintaining a comfortable second.
With five laps to go, disaster struck for runaway leader Binder, who lost the rear into turn one causing his first DNF of the season. One lap later, Pawi had a massive highside in turn twelve, the Malaysian crashing out as well. Inheriting a ten-second lead wasn’t enough for McPhee, the Saxoprint rider pushing at the front and having to save a big moment with two laps to go. But save it he did and the Scotsman went on to cross the line first, with eight seconds in hand over Martin and Di Giannantonio, the two riding a sensible race while everyone was crashing around them.
After a good start challenging at the top, Enea Bastianini started to lose ground massively, down to fifteenth, embroiled in battle with a large group behind the podium contenders. With three laps left, he got to the top of that thinning group to finish fourth, ahead of another good performance by last year’s winner Niccolo Antonelli.
With a dreadful couple of practice sessions, Spielberg winner Joan Mir had a bit more fun in the rain, the Spaniard climbing into eighth, behind local rider Jakub Kornfeil and impressive fellow rookie Bo Bendsneyder.
Despite Binder’s crash, Jorge Navarro did not manage to cut back much of his lead, the Spaniard finishing tenth after yoyo-ing in the midfield following a pretty poor start. Binder now leads by 61 points, Enea Bastianini climbing into third, 85 points off Binder, after Pecco Bagnaia crashed and Romano Fenati did not take part in the race.
|3||4||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Honda||+9.777|
|55||Andrea LOCATELLI||KTM||3 Laps|
|41||Brad BINDER||KTM||5 Laps|
|89||Khairul Idham PAWI||Honda||5 Laps|
|43||Stefano VALTULINI||Mahindra||5 Laps|
|40||Darryn BINDER||Mahindra||6 Laps|
|21||Francesco BAGNAIA||Mahindra||7 Laps|
|12||Albert ARENAS||Peugeot||8 Laps|
|7||Adam NORRODIN||Honda||10 Laps|
|44||Aron CANET||Honda||11 Laps|