2018 Sachsenring Moto2 Race Result: A Day Of Firsts

The second show of the day at the Sachsenring did not disappoint and it was a day of firsts for the intermediate class podium. After looking quietly confident throughout the weekend, Brad Binder was in attack mode and scored his first win in the class in impressive fashion. Joan Mir achieved his best result of the season after battling Luca Marini for the remaining podium positions, the young Italian settling for third but ultimately happy to get his first podium in Moto2.

Marini had started the race in the lead after getting past poleman Mattia Pasini, with teammate Pecco Bagnaia soon following his example. Alex Marquez also made a fast start to join the top five with his teammate just behind, the two Marc VDS riders battling Sam Lowes for fourth position at this point. Miguel Oliveira made another lightning start, jumping from 15th on the grid to ninth straight away but an optimistic move on Xavi Vierge immediately set him back a couple of places, Vierge coming off much worse.

Pasini’s pole position curse struck once again as the Italian crashed on lap three and almost took Bagnaia with him. The championship leader just about managed to take avoiding action through the gravel trap but lost a lot of positions and fell back to 26th. He did make up one position soon after, courtesy of a crash from Lorenzo Baldassarri.

The adventures at the front allowed Marini a bit of breathing space but not for long as Mir came charging and took over top position on lap five. The pair of them were stretching a gap ahead of Binder, Lowes and Marcel Schrotter, while Oliveira and Marquez were getting quite feisty with each other and losing touch with the top five. Quite a bit further back, Bagnaia had climbed into the top 20 by lap seven.

Mir and Marini soon had company from Binder, while Schrotter was in charge of the chasers but already one second back on the podium battle. Lowes and Oliveira were close behind the local boy but Marquez lost his mojo another second back in seventh and with a significant gap keeping Vierge behind him.

There were question marks around Marini’s lingering shoulder injury and the Italian could not resist Binder’s attack on lap ten, with the KTM rider going on to pick up Mir for the lead by the end of that same lap. Oliveira was fighting his way through the chasing group but he was yet to make it past Schrotter and the German was not exactly making an impression on the 1.5 second gap to the lead trio. Meanwhile, Bagnaia got into point scoring positions by lap 13 but the Italian had a two second gap to plenty of equally fast riders ahead of him if he was to knock on the doors of the top ten.

Halfway through the race, the main actors were holding station while posting a flurry of red sector times, Binder putting half a second into his rivals. Marini made it past Mir soon after, with Oliveira still biding his time on that attack on Schrotter for fourth. The Portuguese rider finally pounced with 11 laps to go, as Lowes lost touch with that duo. Meanwhile, Marquez was feeling the effects of his eventful weekend and started losing ground to Vierge and Simone Corsi and coming under serious threat from Fabio Quartararo in the battle for ninth.

In the final ten laps, Mir got back past Marini and distanced the Italian but the Spaniard could still not get that half second back on Binder. Oliveira was getting closer to podium positions but that was more due to Marini losing ground rather than the KTM rider catching up in any alarming way with the leader. Schrotter and Lowes were almost two seconds back, with a sizeable group in contention for seventh – Bagnaia being at the end of that group in 15th position.

With four laps to go, Mir finally brought the gap to Binder to less than half a second, with Oliveira slowly getting closer to Marini but the top 18 riders were still posting red hot sector times and no one stood out through sheer speed. Only two laps later, the plot changed again as Mir’s dream of victory looked much further away and he had to defend second from a resurging Marini.

Despite a scary moment on the last lap, Binder secured a well deserved victory and Mir crossed the line a tenth of a second ahead of Marini. Oliveira was fourth a further second back, with Lowes making it past Schrotter in the final turn. Vierge was the winner of the big battle for seventh place ahead of Corsi, with Fabio Quartararo needing a video finish to ensure ninth place ahead of Jorge Navarro. Remy Gardner was 11th, with Bagnaia eventually making a move on Marquez in the final turn for another precious point in the championship.

This unlikely turn of events means that Bagnaia still leads the championship but his advantage comes down to only seven points ahead of Oliveira. Marquez keeps third, 35 points back on the leader, with teammate Mir climbing into fourth.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 41 Brad BINDER KTM 39'46.306
2 36 Joan MIR Kalex +0.779
3 10 Luca MARINI Kalex +0.933
4 44 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +2.143
5 22 Sam LOWES KTM +6.376
6 23 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex +6.513
7 97 Xavi VIERGE Kalex +15.544
8 24 Simone CORSI Kalex +15.674
9 20 Fabio QUARTARARO Speed Up +16.004
10 9 Jorge NAVARRO Kalex +16.005
11 87 Remy GARDNER Tech 3 +16.596
12 42 Francesco BAGNAIA Kalex +17.304
13 73 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex +17.458
14 77 Dominique AEGERTER KTM +18.138
15 40 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex +23.816
16 13 Romano FENATI Kalex +24.611
17 89 Khairul Idham PAWI Kalex +25.617
18 4 Steven ODENDAAL NTS +28.019
19 27 Iker LECUONA KTM +28.173
20 64 Bo BENDSNEYDER Tech 3 +36.398
21 51 Eric GRANADO Suter +40.199
22 16 Joe ROBERTS NTS +41.509
23 21 Federico FULIGNI Kalex +1'04.024
24 18 Xavi CARDELUS Kalex 1 Lap
25 62 Stefano MANZI Suter 7 Laps
    Not Classified    
  32 Isaac VIÑALES Kalex 12 Laps
  52 Danny KENT Speed Up 21 Laps
  45 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex 24 Laps
  7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 26 Laps
  54 Mattia PASINI Kalex 27 Laps
  5 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex 27 Laps
    Not Starting:    
  95 Jules DANILO Kalex 0 Lap
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Round Number: 
9
2018
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Total votes: 20

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Comments

I recall Binder fighting Jack Miller at Sachsenring back in Moto3 in an epic with Binder deciding discretion was the better part of valour and deferring to Jack rather than having a lunge. KTM's issue in M2 is qualifying to an extent. Binder generally flies way under the radar, publicity hype per event and definitely and consistently delivers on any Sunday. Mir had no foil that Binder could not manage. I understand Aki Ajo has struck a deal to retain him at KTM. Oliivera was as impeccable as impeccable Peco Bagnaia...bummer for Peco/Mattia incident. Funny old bone it is, the Junior classes and promotion to the big league. Kent barely squeezed his last gasp M3 title vs Oliviera. Oliviera goes to MGP next year and well deserved along with Peco and Mir. Further down the ranks and back to Binder, one could say this is his semi-actual rookie year in M2 given he had one arm for the first half of last year and missed half the season. Aki and Pit and Brad go to the summer break relishing the deal and what the 765cc Triumph mill spec can offer the team in M2 next year.

Total votes: 5