South African rookie Binder wins Czech MotoGP

South African Brad Binder on his way to victory in the Moto GP Czech Grand Prix at Masaryk circuit in Brno on Sunday. (AFP)
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Updated 10 August 2020

South African rookie Binder wins Czech MotoGP

  • It was the 24-year-old Binder’s first MotoGP win in only his third race in the elite division

BRNO, Czech Republic: Brad Binder created a series of firsts as he won the Czech MotoGP on Sunday to make come true “a day I dreamed about since I was a little boy.” 

It was the 24-year-old Binder’s first MotoGP win in only his third race in the elite division, it was also a first victory at this level by a South African and for the KTM team.

Binder opened his MotoGP account at the main expense of Italian Franco Morbidelli on Yamaha’s satellite SRT bike and Frenchman Johan Zarco on a Ducati-Avintia who came third.

“My team put an absolutely insane motorbike underneath me this weekend,” said Binder.

“I had no idea we were capable of winning but I had a feeling it could be good.”

Behind closed doors on a hot and sunny afternoon, Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha-SRT), winner of the first two rounds of the season and world championship leader, finished seventh to increase his lead in the riders’ standings to 17 points over Spaniard Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) who was only 14th in the GP.

With reigning champion Marc Marquez still absent nursing a broken arm, Binder followed Quartararo in grabbing his chance.

Binder was the first rookie MotoGP winner since Marquez in 2013 and he was followed home by two more surprising frontrunners.

For Morbidelli it was a first podium finish.

“It was a nice race overall, I started well, I did what was in my plan, to make my rhythm and don’t overcook the tires,” he said.

Afer Binder overtook him on lap 13 and pulled clear, Morbidelli concentrated on preserving his first podium finish.

“I won’t do anything silly and try to bring the bike to the end and catch my first podium.”

Zarco started from pole but dropped down the field with a poor start. He held on to third despite disintegrating tyres and a penalty imposed for a collision with Pol Esparago which put the Spanish KTM man out of the race.

“He went wide. I was in, keeping the line and when we touch,” said Zarco. “I did not expect it and I think that he crashed.”

The officials judged the Frenchman was at fault and he had to ride a ‘long lap’ which meant following an outside lane on the big seventh turn.

“When I did the long lap, I expected three riders to overtake me. No one overtook and at that moment, I said, OK that can be good,” Zarco said.


Qatar Racing’s Oisin Murphy vows to clear name after positive cocaine test

Updated 01 October 2020

Qatar Racing’s Oisin Murphy vows to clear name after positive cocaine test

  • The Irishman denied using the drug and said he was awaiting a “B” sample

 

LONDON: Qatar Racing’s number one jockey, Oisin Murphy, has vowed to fight to clear his name after testing positive for cocaine.

The Irishman denied using the drug and said he was awaiting a “B” sample result following a test in France taken in July.

The Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) said in a statement on Thursday that Murphy had been selected for urine testing at Chantilly racecourse on July 19.

On Aug. 19 he was informed by France Galop, the governing body of the sport in the country, that his “A” sample had returned positive for metabolites of cocaine.

Murphy said subsequent hair tests, which he organized, had found no trace of the substance and those results would be shared with France Galop.

“I have never taken cocaine in my life and I will do everything that I can to prove that I have not taken cocaine,” Murphy said. “I want to thank those who are supporting me and in the meantime I want to keep riding winners and focus on my career.”

The 25-year-old, who has been top jockey for the QIPCO-backed Qatar Racing since 2016, is on course to retain his Champion Jockey status — the title given to the rider with the most wins throughout a season in British flat racing.

He currently leads the 2020 standings, having ridden 111 winners, and is 13 wins clear of the second-placed jockey William Buick.

Qatar Racing was founded in 2012 and marked the formal involvement in racehorse ownership of Sheikh Fahad’s brothers, including QIPCO chief executive Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani.