Jack Miller cruises to Spanish GP win in Ducati one-two, SA’s Brad Binder crashes out
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JEREZ – Ducati's Jack Miller edged out team mate Francesco Bagnaia to claim only his second MotoGP victory at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez on Sunday.
Yamaha's pole-sitter Fabio Quartararo recovered from a slow start to open up a two-second advantage at the front but a bike issue saw his pace drop significantly, allowing Miller to snatch the lead with 10 laps remaining.
Miller held off Bagnaia to take the chequered flag for the first time since winning the 2016 Dutch Grand Prix, while Franco Morbidelli finished third for Petronas Yamaha SRT.
Meanwhile, Brad Binder’s race came to an end even before it started.
Starting from the fourth row, and 11th on the grid, the Red Bull KTM rider, had a lacklustre launch, and that is as good as it got for the 25-year-old. Two laps later Binder had the first of his crashes, sliding out of the running for a podium, and dropping back to the back of the field into 22nd. A crash from Alex Rins a few laps later promoted Binder to 21nd and for the next 13 laps he completed his rotations without making any impression.
With 13 laps to go, Binder’s afternoon came to an unimpressive end as he crashed out of the MotoGP event at Turn 13. It was all the more disappointing as there was a belief before the start of the race that KTM could possibly have secured a podium finish, with that responsibility falling squarely on Binder due to teammate Miguel Oliveira starting the GP in the midfield.
Oliveira would eventually classify in 11th.
Quartararo, meanwhile, stormed to the lead and seemed to be on his way to victory at a canter, but an apparent injury to his left arm from the last 10 laps onwards, saw the Frenchman lose pace and fall behind to finish 13th, seemingly in much agony. Quartararo’s loss was Miller’s gain, the Ducati rider seizing first place and holding onto an emotional victory – his second in MotoGP since joining the elite category in 2015.