Moto3 2021
Round 2

Binder second, Kunii scores his first point!

qa Losail International Circuit

Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) moved himself into second place in the 2021 Moto3 World Championship with a brilliant ride to second in this evening’s heart-pumping Moto3 race.

Binder second, Kunii scores his first point!

Another highlight of this race was Japanese teenager Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) scoring his first World Championship point in 15th.

The thrilling battle for the lead featured more than a dozen riders throughout the 18 laps, with multiple overtakes on most corners. Losail’s long start/finish straight was arguably the most exciting part of the track, with riders increasing their performance via the slipstream effect – using the low-pressure area created by the motorcycle immediately ahead to increase the top speed of their own motorcycle.

Binder rode another beautifully judged race, to go one better than the third place he scored at Losail last Sunday. Despite getting juggled back to tenth soon after half-distance the 23-year-old South African soon fought back to contest the lead once again. He started the final lap right behind the leader and took the chequered flag just 0.039 seconds down.

There were several collisions as riders jostled for position, most notably when 19-year-old Spaniard Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) collided with Binder four laps from the finish. Alcoba went down at speed, collecting John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW). This was the second consecutive race in which the 26-year-old Briton was the innocent victim of a collision. Neither McPhee nor Alcoba were hurt in the tumble.

Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) was the second NSF250RW rider at the finish, in fourth place, just three hundredths of a second outside a podium finish.

Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) and Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) both played starring roles at the front of the pack, but lost out in the bumping and barging. Suzuki finished 12th, just 2.2 seconds behind the winner. Rodrigo chased the 23-year-old from Chiba over the line in 13th, one thousandth of a second further back!

Kunii was only two hundredths further back, snatching his first world-class points finish in 15th, after taking the position from a rival on the final lap. This result will give the 18-year-old from Setagaya some much-needed confidence. Kunii has often shown that he has the talent and the speed, but until now he’s been unable to turn them into points.

Kunii’s team-mate Andi Farid Izdihar (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) finished his second Moto3 GP race in 22nd place. The 23-year-old Indonesian nonetheless gained valuable experience for the forthcoming races.

Darryn Binder
Darryn Binder 40
Petronas Sprinta Racing
It was a really crazy race with some seriously close calls! At the beginning I was quite comfortable at the front and later on I thought that the leading group was smaller, but I soon realised it wasn’t. On the last lap I tried to get the hammer down to launch an attack on [Pedro] Acosta, but I just couldn’t quite do it. I’m so stoked to make it two podiums in a row though! My bike was insanely good and I just can’t thank the team enough. I’ve never felt this good in this class before. I feel strong in every session and feel like I can just go out and do what I need to do. I can’t wait to get to Portugal and get the next race underway.

Yuki Kunii
Yuki Kunii 92
Honda Team Asia
I’m delighted with my first point in the championship. Before the race I was worried because I hadn’t enough pace. But finally I have had my best race. I was with the big group all the time, but I was struggling a lot to follow them because of my lack of pace. I tried to enjoy the race and to fight as much as I could. I hope this could be a starting point. I must try to be calm, because I’m too stressed during the weekend. It’s an important lesson I learned this weekend.

Andi Farid Izdihar
Andi Farid Izdihar 19
Honda Team Asia
I didn’t have the feeling during the race. Yesterday I had many problems and I had the option to do only eight laps in total. During warm-up we tried to recover the time lost yesterday, but we could not. My start wasn’t good. Despite that I was inside the top group some laps. But I struggled too much, I hadn't the option to fight with the other riders. Anyway, this is my second race in the Moto3 class and I will keep working, thinking about the next race in Portimao.

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