Brad Binder took the MotoGP sprint win in Spanish GP after red flag re-start from Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller.

It was blink-and-you-miss-it action right from the moment the lights went out in the Tissot Sprint at the Gran Premio MotoGP™ Guru by Gryfyn de España. After an early red flag on the initial start, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) flew off the line on the restart as he went on to outsmart his KTM teammate and take a hard-fought Sprint victory. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) put in a timely performance to put himself back into championship contention as he snatched 2nd place from Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) on the final lap.

Light out… and then lights out again

Tensions were high on the grid ahead of the first Tissot Sprint on Spanish soil, Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) had a slow launch from the initial start as the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing duo flew off into 1st and 2nd. The red flags came out soon after however as a pile-up at turn 2 meant the Sprint was to be restarted.

Championship leader Marco Bezzecchi was caught out by the 3 rider collision happening ahead of him, leaving the Italian nowhere to go as he joined Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™), Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), and Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) in the Circuito de Jerez gravel trap. All four riders quickly returned to the garage to mount their machines and join the Sprint for a full restart to proceedings.

The riders lined up on the grid once again for a second go at getting their Tissot Sprint off to the perfect start. The KTM’s did the same again as Binder flew into the lead with Miller slotting himself into a tiny gap on Espargaro at turn 1. This unsettled the Spaniard as he dropped down to 5th which promoted the two Ducatis of Martin and Bagnaia to 3rd and 4th.

The riders came barreling into Angel Nieto corner and Martin meant business as he threw his Prima Pramac Racing Duacti up the inside of Miller to snatch 2nd place away for the Aussie. In the meantine, Bagnaia and Espargaro were right in the mix watching the Sprint unfold ahead of them.

One lap later and it was a divebomb at Dani Pedrosa corner from Jack Miller, as he took 2nd place back from Martin. Martin tried to fight back but the Ausse wasn’t having any of it which left Bagnaia with perfect opportunity to take advantage as he slotted himself into 3rd ahead of Martin and just behind Miller. Eight laps to go and it was Miller took to the front as he decided it was his turn to lead the race and demoted his teammate to 2nd.

Alex Marquez hit the gravel trap once again after crashing out of the initial start, it wasn’t meant to be for the Spaniard who failed to score in his first Tissot Sprint of home soil. Just one lap later and disaster struck for another Spaniard as Aleix Espargaro crashed out of a point-scoring position for the 3rd time in 2023.

The KTM’s then began to pull away from the two Ducati’s with 4 laps to go, stretching the gap out to half a second. Martin was riding all over the rear wheel of the Bagnaia’s factory Ducati, as the Champion struggled to hold onto the leading duo. Martin was desperate to find a way past the Italian as the Ducati top dog was proving to be a tricky hurdle in the Spaniard’s quest for victory.

Miller and Binder were riding the edge of a knife as the laps continued to tick away, and with a lap and a half remaining Binder muscled his way past his teammate into the lead of the Sprint. The scrapping out front had let the Ducati’s gain ground to the leading duo. Bagnaia lined up a move on Miller into the Pedrosa corner, Miller resisted on the brakes but overshot the corner running wide and allowing the Italian through.

Meanwhile, Binder had put the hammer down at the front and stretched his lead over the riders scrapping it out behind. Binder went on to take an impressive Sprint victory continuing an enjoyable weekend for the Austrian manufacturer with Miller making it two KTM’s on the podium.

Bagnaia fended off Miller to the finish line and took an important 2nd place, reinstating his Championship lead, and regaining his confidence.

Action everywhere you look

As ever there were battles throughout the field in MotoGP™. Jorge Martin was attached to the battle for 2nd place but missed out on the top 3 by jusy 0.173s to take 4th place in the Tissot Sprint.

An intense battle between Miguel Oliveira (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team) and Dani Pedrosa (Red Bull KTM Racing Team) also had viewers glued to their screens as the Porguese rider fended off the MotoGP™ Legend for 5th place.

1.5 seconds further back Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) had his hands full trying to defend his 7th place from Johan Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing Ducati), the Spaniard came out on top in that scrap leaving the Frenchman to settle for P8. The Mooney VR46 Racing riders were involved in an intense fight for the final point-scoring position in the Tissot Sprint, in the end it was Marco Bezzecchi who despite losing the Championship lead won the battle against Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) to bag 9th place.

[Note: The story is as per press release]