Difficult season opener for Binder & Agius in Qatar tyre poker

Darryn Binder and Senna Agius from the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP Moto2 Team started the opening race at the Lusail International Circuit full of hope. But it was to be an indomitable tyre poker and a challenging battle to the line, which the Australian rookie crossed in seventeenth place ahead of his South African teammate.

The conditions in Qatar change significantly from day to night, making tyre selections difficult. With no practice time from the rainy Friday evening and only a short qualifying session on Saturday evening in similar conditions to the race, the riders and teams were left to gamble on which combination of tyres would work best over the race distance.
The German team, as well as many other well-known contenders and teams, opted for the hard front and rear tyres from Pirelli. As the race progressed, however, it became clear that this was not the ideal choice for the race under floodlights.

Darryn Binder, who had made a good start to the first race weekend of the year, got off to a solid start and made up two positions on his rivals. The South African quickly noticed that his tyres were losing performance earlier than desired, so he tried with everything at his disposal to defend a possible top 10 result. After the 26-year-old had managed to hold his own in the scramble at the start, he ultimately had to watch as he gradually lost ground and position after position. In the last of 18 laps, he also had to concede defeat to his new teammate. Thanks to his experience, Binder knows how to categorize this nevertheless very instructive weekend and looks confidently to the next opportunity in just two weeks' time.

Moto2 rookie Senna Agius was unable to get beyond the top 18 in the starting phase, as he also struggled quickly with degrading tyres. However, the 18-year-old did not give up and fought through to the end. He managed his race in the best possible way and was even able to overtake Darryn Binder in the final metres of the 5.38km track. As a result, he finished his first race of the season in seventeenth place, just two positions behind the points.

Now it's time to quickly put the Qatar disappointment behind and focus on the next round of the season at the Portuguese Grand Prix in Portimao, which is scheduled for the 22nd - 24th of March.


2.   Barry BALTUS/ BEL/ KALEX – (+0.055)
3.   Sergio GARCIA/ SPA/ BOSCOSCURO – (+0.742)
17. Senna AGIUS/ AUS/ KALEX – (+27.060)
18. Darryn BINDER/ RSA/ KALEX – (+28.515)

Riders Championship 
1.   LOPEZ Alonso/ SPA – 25
2.   BALTUS Barry/ BEL – 20
3.   GARCIA Sergio/ SPA – 16
17. AGIUS Senna/ AUS – 0
18. BINDER Darryn/ RSA – 0