KTM protege Brad Binder scored a career-first Moto2 win at the Sachsenring, fending off a strong challenge from MotoGP-bound Joan Mir.
Former Moto3 champion Binder, who will stay with the Ajo KTM team in Moto2 next year, leapt from 10th on the grid to sixth on the first lap, and then formed a breakway trio out front with Mir and Luca Marini.
VR46 rider Marini – the half-brother of Valentino Rossi – converted his second-placed grid slot into an early lead, as fellow front row starters Mattia Pasini and Francesco Bagnaia both hit trouble.
Pasini crashed exiting the final corner on the second lap, and points leader Bagnaia was forced on to the gravel in avoidance, dropping down towards the rear.
That meant Marini led Mir, up from eighth on the grid, and Binder by the end of lap three, before Mir attacked and took the lead heading into Turn 1 on the fifth lap.
Mir’s spell out front proved short-lived however, as Binder picked off Marini on lap 10 and then found a way by the Suzuki MotoGP signing on the same tour.
From there, Binder was able to stretch out a half-second advantage, with Mir and Marini exchanging second position back and forth over the next few laps.
While Mir made some minor inroads on Binder in the closing laps, he was powerless to prevent the South African from grabbing a first win in the intermediate class.
Marc VDS rider Mir was forced to turn his attentions to fending off Marini, hanging on by a tenth.
Behind the lead trio, Binder’s teammate Miguel Oliveira recovered to fourth place after a first-lap tangle with Xavi Vierge (Intact Kalex) cost him valuable places.
With Bagnaia only able to finish 12th, it means the Italian’s lead in the standings is cut to seven points.
Sam Lowes (CGBM KTM) overcame Marcel Schrotter (Intact) in the closing stages to grab fifth, while Vierge was able to make his way back to seventh.
Completing the top 10 were Simone Corsi (Tasca Kalex), Jorge Navarro (Gresini Kalex) and another candidate for a 2019 MotoGP move, Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up).
Alex Marquez (Marc VDS) was in the lead fight in the early laps but ended up falling to 13th, while Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons Kalex) was one of several riders to crash out.
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