Binder’s brave gamble secures remarkable Austrian GP win
Jorge Martin had won from pole at the same circuit last time out to claim victory in the Styrian Grand Prix and he started from the front of the grid again, the rookie playing his part in an incredible race that saw Binder prevail as his gamble to stay on dry tyres paid off.
It looked as if Francesco Bagnaia was set for an enthralling duel with Marc Marquez for the win in the closing laps, but the rain that had threatened throughout the race finally arrived and instantly shuffled the pack.
A downpour prompted the top six to dive into the pits for a bike swap with four laps remaining yet, while they all switched to a wet set-up, Binder took the risk of staying out.
The Red Bull KTM rider succeeded in keeping his bike upright to triumph for his team at their home circuit, his first win since the Czech Republic last year.
Behind him, Bagnaia eventually surged through the field to take second, running out of time to pass Binder, while Martin also profited from his decision to swap bikes by claiming third and his second successive podium.
Marquez, by contrast, crashed after his trip to the pits to end his hopes of victory, while championship leader Fabio Quartararo finished down in seventh for Yamaha.
Quartararo’s lead at the top of the championship, which was 40 points at the start of the race, is now up to 47, with Johann Zarco losing ground as the Ducati rider crashed out at turn 9 before the late drama.
With seven races remaining, Quartararo is the favourite to dethrone Joan Mir, but Sunday’s race belonged to Binder after his brave and ultimately brilliant gamble.
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