The South African rider won the first of the two Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup races at Estoril on Saturday.
Brad Binder expunged the frustration of the Jerez weekend by totally dominating the first race in Estoril ahead of Arthur Sissis and Lorenzo Baldassarri. The 15 year old South African set off from pole and led from 1st lap to last and even though 15 year old Arthur Sissis and 14 year old Italian Baldassarri were right with him early on, neither could match his pace.
“I just put my head down and went as hard as I could from the start,” said Binder. “When I saw the gap was 4 seconds I realised that it was going OK but I wanted to keep pushing and I only eased up right at the end. In fact I almost crashed at the chicane on the last lap when the front tucked but I got away with it.”
Sissis accepted that there was nothing he could do. “I got into second and went as hard as I could but there was no chance of matching Brad today, he was gone. My bike was sliding around quite a lot so the set up can be improved for sure. We'll have a look at things and see what we can change for tomorrow. I hope we can find something and that I can race with Brad.” Sissis jumps into the Cup points lead, 10 clear of Binder and Philipp Oettl, who misses this weekend following a testing crash that resulted in a broken collarbone.
Baldassarri also hopes that some suspension work will make the difference to his race tomorrow. “I enjoyed the race a lot, I went as hard as I could but I couldn't race with Brad and Arthur. My bike was moving around a lot, we had so little dry track time and I am new to the Rookies bike so we just didn't have it well set up. Hopefully we can make some improvement, if we can I think I can race with them tomorrow.”
Though the lead trio became well spread out the fight for 4th could not have been more intense. It was 16 year old Frenchman Alan Techer who snatched the place on the line after Xavi Pinsach, the 14 year old Spaniard ran wide coming out of the last corner and dropped from 4th to 7th. Joakim Niemi, the 16 year old Finn stole 5th ahead of 14 year old Portuguese local hero Ivo Lopes with Aaron España, the 13 year old Spaniard 8th.
España had done a superb job to fight through from 15th on lap one pulling 17 year old Czech Tomas Vavrous with him into a battle for 4th that at the time also included Lukas Trautmann and Andrea Migno. The group split up and Vavrous crashed leaving 15 year old Italian Migno a good 9th ahead of Trautmann, the 15 year old German.
“That was so much fun,” said Pinsach. “The bike was really working well and I enjoyed battling with the guys. You can't break away from a group like that they just have your slipstream. I knew that I had to push hard coming through the last corner. I was as hard as I dare on the throttle and the bike just ran wide, I couldn't stop it. Never mind, I tried.”
Lopes agreed that it just came down to the last corner. “We had such a fight I could get in front but I couldn't get away, the other guys were just holding my slipstream all the time. I was pushing so hard on that last lap, coming through the last right the back was sliding, sliding, I just held on to it.”