Sunday in Misano didn’t quite start with the usual repertoire. A few clouds covered the sunny skies of previous days and it also seemed to dull the action somewhat. Still, Brad Binder got a hand on the title (more like nine fingers at this point) with a controlled display, converting his pole position into a win for the first time this year.
While the result might sound hardly unexpected, the world championship leader didn’t have it all his own way. It was Enea Bastinini who led off the line, a great start from Jakub Kornfeil pushing Binder back but not for long, the Red Bull rider already back at the front on the second lap.
Front row starter Nicolo Bulega fell back to seventh place after the start, at the back of the lead group, with Fabio Di Giannantonio and Andrea Locatelli trying to catch up behind him. The Sky rider also wanted a piece of the spotlight at his home race and picked up the pace to lead briefly on lap six.
Starting sixteenth, Joan Mir recovered a handful of places at the start and soon found himself leading the charge in the chasing group, having to recover a second on the leaders. That mission was completed quite fast, making it a ten-man lead group.
Binder and Bastianini hogged the clean air at the front for most of the race, leaving Navarrro, Bulega, Locatelli, Ono, Mir, Kornfeil, Di Giannantonio and Canet to fight it off for the last podium position. Navarro took himself out of contention with a demoralising crash with sixteen laps to go, taking a bit of a whack in turn fourteen. With the battle heating up, Philipp Oettl joined the party as well.
Bulega led the second group before trying to catch up with the leaders, dragging Mir with him but not really coming within a second of Binder and Bastianini. Mir made his move with nine laps to go, having a go at closing the gap himself, to little success but keeping Bulega at bay. Just as he was making up some ground, the Spaniard had to drop one position for overenthusiastically approaching track limits. That saw Bulega back in third place for barely a few corners before Mir overtook him back. Towards the end of the group, Ono and Di Giannantonio lost ground on the podium battle.
Meanwhile, Bastianini kept comfortably behind the world championship leader and only had a go with five laps left. The South African waited until the final lap to strike back and dealt the final blow in turn eleven, denying the Italian a popular home victory.
Behind them, Mir narrowly snatched the final podium position from Bulega, the rest of the group being led over the line by Jakub Kornfeil. The Czech rider held off Andrea Locatelli, the Italian setting a new lap record on his way to sixth position. Canet, Oettl, Ono and Di Giannantonio completed the top ten.
Among the other usual contenders, Niccolo Antonelli was pretty anonymous but got some points in eleventh place, a bad start and several off-track excursions dropping Fabio Quartararo in eighteenth. Pecco Bagnaia had a disappointing day down in twenty-first position, leaving wildcard Stefano Manzi as the first Mahindra on their 100 GP anniversary in sixteenth place.
Navarro’s crash pretty much ended his championship bid, leaving Binder to cruise home with 106 points over Bastianini, the Italian taking over second place in the standings by 5 points. Behind Binder, the battle continues to heat up, only 17 points separating Bastianini in second and Mir in sixth.
|10||4||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Honda||+10.896|
|17||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||KTM||+23.349|
|22||89||Khairul Idham PAWI||Honda||+35.409|
|40||Darryn BINDER||Mahindra||4 Laps|
|24||Tatsuki SUZUKI||Mahindra||8 Laps|
|42||Marcos RAMIREZ||Mahindra||10 Laps|
|9||Jorge NAVARRO||Honda||16 Laps|
|19||Gabriel RODRIGO||KTM||17 Laps|
|6||Maria HERRERA||KTM||22 Laps|
|Not Finished 1st Lap|
|64||Bo BENDSNEYDER||KTM||0 Lap|
|71||Alex FABBRI||Mahindra||0 Lap|