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.
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.