Brad Binder held off a late challenge from Alex Marquez. AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson.

Spielberg, Austria - South Africa’s Brad Binder gave himself the perfect 24th birthday present by winning the Austrian Moto2 Grand Prix at the Spielberg Red Bull Ring on Sunday, his first victory of the year.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider started from second on the grid, but took an early lead and also held off late charges from both Alex Marquez and Remy Gardner. The latter made three attempts on the lead, but Binder held his ground, forcing his opponent to run wide. 

With just six laps to go Gardiner crashed out after going wide into turn one and clipping the back wheel of Marquez. It was indeed a race of attrition for many of the usual front runners, with Japanese rider Tetsuta Nagashima having crashed out earlier in the race.

In the end it was Marquez that took second spot, ahead of Jorge Navarro and Lorenzo Baldassarri.

Marquez currently leads the Moto2 championship with 180 points, with Binder trailing in seventh spot with 109 points.

But the heat is on for the South African star in 2020, his team having promoted him to the premier MotoGP series. 

Dovizioso wins MotoGP race

AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson.

On the subject of MotoGP, Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso passed reigning champion Marc Marquez at the last corner to win the race and trim the Spaniard's overall lead to 58 points.

The pair had been in a duel throughout the race, with the Italian making a seemingly decisive move with nine laps to go after running in the Spaniard's slipstream.

Repsol Honda's Marquez, starting from a record 59th MotoGP pole, went back in front with three laps remaining but Dovizioso muscled through at the last corner of the race and made the move stick.

French rider Fabio Quartararo, who led the first four laps, was third for the Petronas Yamaha team.

IOL & Reuters