Darryn Binder second and just shy of #DohaGP win, heartbreak for John McPhee with another DNF
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Darryn Binder made it two podiums from two races after finishing the Grand Prix of Doha second, just 0.039secs shy of victory. Team-mate John McPhee’s bad luck at Losail continued with a DNF after being taken out by another rider.
Binder made the perfect start, taking the lead on the first lap. With the top positions changing hands on nearly every lap, due to the slipstream effect, the South African stayed within the leading pack early on, constantly challenging for the lead. Darryn was forced wide on Lap 11, which dropped him to 13th, but was quickly back within podium contention. A dramatic last few laps ended with Binder taking his second consecutive podium, as he crossed the line in second, which also puts him second in the championship standings.
McPhee found himself losing positions on the start and was down in 12th by the end of the opening lap. The Scot then found himself in 19th after experiencing a moment on track with another rider, but was quick to start making his way steadily back through the field to be inside the top-five at the halfway point. Bad luck struck again for John on Lap 15, when another rider crashed in front of him at Turn 1 and ended his race early.
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Moto3 riders will now enjoy a short break, before racing resumes at Portimão with the Grande Prémio de Portugal (16-18 April).
It was a really crazy race with some seriously close calls! At the beginning I was quite comfortable at the front and later on I thought that the leading group was smaller, but I soon realised it wasn’t. On the last lap I tried to get the hammer down to launch an attack on [Pedro] Acosta, but I just couldn’t quite do it. I’m so stoked to make it two podiums in a row though! My bike was insanely good and I just can’t thank the team enough. I’ve never felt this good in this class before. I feel strong in every session and feel like I can just go out and do what I need to do. I can’t wait to get to Portugal and get the next race underway.
DNF (+4 laps)
I’m gutted about the crash and it’s a shame for us to finish the race this way, because of another rider’s mistake. I felt strong all weekend again and especially in the race. I was possibly a bit too cautious in the opening laps, but then I managed to show my real speed and make my way back to the front. I had a couple of issues on the way there with another rider, and then finally the incident happened at Turn 1. Everything was going to plan until then. Darryn did a great job though and it’s fantastic to see him on the podium again. Hopefully I’ll be back fighting at the front at Portimão.