Brad Binder finishes third in thrilling British MotoGP at Silverstone

"Hats off to my team, I'd love to have got the win today for them but third's going to have to do," said the South African.


Aleix Espargaro won a classic British MotoGP with a last-lap lunge to deny world champion Francesco Bagnaia at Silverstone on Sunday.

Brad Binder of KTM completed the podium on the return of MotoGP after its mid-season break.

Baignaia extended his lead in the riders’ standings to 41 points after his closest challenger Marco Bezzecchi crashed out.

“It was one of those days when you feel invincible,” said Espargaro, who started from a lowly fourth row of the grid.

“Even starting from 12th I felt super good with the bike,” added the Spaniard who continued the race’s tradition of producing a different winner every year since 2013.

Rain began to splatter the circuit late on to add spice to a tense finish with Espargaro timing his decisive move on Bagnaia to perfection.

“My plan was to pass him (Bagnaia) but when it started to rain I said to myself ‘okay stay quiet and leave Pecco to open the track and then on the last lap I had something more to overtake him,” Espargaro added.

“The last lap was dramatic with a lot of riders coming from behind, it was slippery, so it was quite scary!”

‘Hats off to my team’

Despite missing out on his fifth win of the season Bagnaia was all smiles, especially after finishing pointless down in 14th in Saturday’s sprint.

“It was tricky. I tried to push but I was on the limit.

“Finishing second is a great result,” the Ducati factory rider said.

“For sure not an easy weekend, yesterday not the best day, but finishing second makes me happy.”

He leads the 2023 world championship on 214 points from Jorge Martin (173) and Bezzecchi (167).

South African Binder, who moved up to fourth on 131 points, reflected: “Hats off to my team, I’d love to have got the win today for them but third’s going to have to do.”

“The track is so big it was wet in some sectors and others were bone dry,” he added.

The race began in dry and sunny conditions in stark contrast to Saturday’s deluge.

Crashes

Pole-sitter Bezzecchi was pipped to turn one by KTM’s Jack Miller, with Bagnaia in hot pursuit.

‘Pecco’ was up to second at the end of the first lap and then surged past Miller to lead.

Bezzecchi, racing for Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Ducati-satellite team, emerged as Bagnaia’s main rival – Miller suddenly plummeting down the pack and out of contention.

Sprint winner Alex Marquez was forced to retire early with a damaged bike.

Joan Mir, the 2020 champion, crashed and Bezzecchi then tumbled out with 15 laps to go.

That left Bagnaia with a slender lead over Espargaro, who had quietly picked his way through the pack.

Bagnaia had a clutch of challengers ready to pounce over the final two laps and it was Espargaro who hit the front late on to claim his second career MotoGP win.

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