Full marks to South Africa’s Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) even though he will want to forget Sunday afternoon’s chaotic Catalan MotoGP at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as soon as possible.
Before the races, Binder and his team had high expectations for a podium place after he finished fourth in the sprint on Saturday.
But within a few seconds after the start of the main race, the expectations turned into a nightmare.
Binder, who started ninth, was one of the lucky drivers who did not fall after a serious accident at the first turn.
The accident was caused by Enea Bastianini who plowed down with Johann Zarco, Alex Marquez, Marco Bezzecchi and Fabio di Giannantonio.
But the biggest drama followed shortly after this when Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo), the current world champion and leader in this year’s series, fell in the second turn and he pulled high over his bike.
Binder was short on his heels, unable to avoid him and drove over his legs. The South African’s bike ended up in the gravel.
Bagnaia was treated on the track and the races were stopped immediately.
Bagnaia was conscious and was taken to the medical center by ambulance.
Binder was not injured, but sat shocked in his team’s pits and waited for a second start.
The races were resumed after an overview and warm-up round and shortened by one round.
Binder, who was initially in ninth starting position, moved up to fifth within two rounds, but he threw in the towel in the fourth round. He drove slowly to the pits, but first inquired about Bagnaia’s well-being at the medical center.
The MotoGP was won by Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia). He was also first in Saturday’s sprint.
He was followed by Maverick Vinales (Aprilia), Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati), Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati), Miguel Oliveira (Aprilia) and Alex Marquez (Gresini Ducati).
Binder (166 points), is still fourth on the championship points list.
Bagnaia (260 points) also remains comfortably ahead, despite the accident.