Thirty-three Moto3 riders lined up Sunday on Mugello’s grid, with SKY Racing Team VR46’s Romano Fenati starting his home round from pole.Fans spread across the circuit and its Tuscan hills cheered for one of their favorite Italians, but while battling for the lead, Fenati’s KTM experienced technical issues, forcing him to retire on lap 10. This opened a five-way fight to the checkered flag, the top-five riders separated by a mere 0.077 of a second.
Earning the win was Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder (South Africa), who was joined on the podium by two Italians – Gresini Racing Moto3 Honda’s Fabio Di Giannantonio and Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3’s Francesco Bagnaia. Giannantonio finished 0.038 of a second behind Binder, and Bagnaiai 0.069 of a second.This was Binder’s third-straight win, and allowed him to extend his points lead to 127 – 49 ahead of Estrella Galicia Honda’s Jorge Navarro, and 60 ahead of Fenati; both Navarro and Fenati suffered DNFs, helping Binder as he chases his first Moto3 title.For Binder, this was also the first time a South African pilot won three-straight races since Kork Ballington in 1979 in the 250cc class.Brad Binder says: “Today’s race was absolutely crazy, because we were exchanging positions all the time and it was very difficult to plan a strategy. It was even dangerous at times, when we had so many riders at the end of the straight taking advantage of slipstreams. On the last lap I saw that I could get to the front of the group and reach the leader, and so I did that. It’s fantastic to win again, and extend my run to three in a row.“I cannot thank my team enough; they gave me the best bike possible today. This weekend was not easy, but with the experience of the team, who have won here three times in the last four years, we had an excellent bike for the race. We are still only six races into the season, so it’s not time to look at the standings just yet.”Binder and most of the Moto3 grid will remain at Mugello for a single day of testing. Round seven gets underway in two weeks at Catalunya Circuit in Barcelona.
2016 Mugello Moto3 Official Recap
Fenati shot off the line and held his advantage into Turn 1, Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) moving up to third with Andrea Migno (SKY Racing Team VR46) splitting the two front-runners.The straight was home to thrilling action as the leading group went five abreast into San Donato, riders easily going from first to fifth in just a few meters. Each lap saw more and more riders join the battle, the slipstream closing the pack up with each run down the 1.141km long straight as the top 20 were all within touching distance.Replacement rider Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Schedl GP Racing) had an incredible start to the race, finding himself comfortably inside the top ten and able to battle with the World Championship regulars. Dalla Porta wasn’t the only new name out at the front, rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing Moto3) taking the lead on several occasions in front of his home crowd.Disaster struck on lap ten for pole setter Roman Fenati as his bike expired while he tried to move into first, the Italian rolling off the track and withdrawing from the race. Fenati’s heartbreak presented a big opportunity for the likes of Fabio Quartararo (Leopard Racing) who made his way up into the frontrunners having started 18th, the Frenchman able to lead at several points.The championship hopefuls continued to encounter difficulties, Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) coming off at Turn 15 on lap 12 after contact with another rider. This left Binder fighting for victory with his two closest rivals out of the race, the South African guaranteed to leave Mugello with the championship lead.Binder made his move on the final lap and opened up a quarter of second gap, just enough to break the slipstream. For the third straight race the South African takes to the top step of the podium, extending his championship lead once again. 49 points, almost two race victories, separate Binder in first from Navarro in second in the standings.Di Giannantonio scored his first points of the year with a brilliant second place at home, Francesco Bagnaia (Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3) making it two Italians on the podium with third. Before Mugello, Di Giannantonio’s best result was 17th.Try as they might, Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) and Fabio Quartararo (Leopard Racing) were unable to pass in the slipstream, settling for fourth and fifth respectively.Darryn Binder (Platinum Bay Real Estate) was the first faller of the race, coming off at Turn 8 but able to walk away from the accident free of injury. Andrea Locatelli (Leopard Racing) fell at Turn 2 on the 14th lap, a sad end to his home weekend.Khairul Idham Pawi (Honda Team Asia) crashed out of a potential top five on the final lap, followed soon after by Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0). Fabio Spiranelli (CIP-Unicom Starker) and Alexis Masbou (Peugeot MC Saxoprint) also failed to finish.