Darryn Binder apologises, Leopard furious as Foggia clash settles Moto3 title

Emotions run high after a dramatic final lap in Portimao sees the Moto3 title settled in Pedro Acosta's favour when rival Dennis Foggia is taken out by Darryn Binder.
Dennis Foggia crashes, Moto3race, Algarve MotoGP, 7 November 2021
Dennis Foggia crashes, Moto3race, Algarve MotoGP, 7 November 2021
© Every Second Media

The 2021 Moto3 title battle between Pedro Acosta and Dennis Foggia was ultimately decided by a controversial incident on the final lap of Sunday's penultimate Portimao round.

Acosta came into the race knowing victory would secure the title, while Foggia – who had slashed Acosta's lead by 73 points over the previous six events - was battling to keep his hopes alive into Valencia next weekend.

The final lap began with Foggia leading from Acosta, who then outbraked the Leopard rider into the Turn 3 hairpin. Disaster soon followed for Foggia when Darryn Binder misjudged an overtake for third on Sergio Garcia and torpedoed into the back of the Italian, also sending Garcia down.

The incident effectively handed rookie Acosta the championship since, with Foggia out, he only needed five points.

Binder, who was promptly disqualified by the FIM Stewards, attempted to apologise to Foggia personally in the pits afterwards but was firmly told to leave by the furious Leopard team.

"I just want to apologise," said Binder, who is moving to MotoGP in 2022. "I was trying to overtake [Sergio] Garcia, was braking and suddenly saw [Dennis] Foggia in front of me. I had nowhere to go.

"I’m really sorry to him, his team and Garcia for the crash. Obviously it’s the last thing I wanted to happen, especially with Dennis fighting for a championship title, and was definitely not my intention.

"Again I just want to apologise to everyone involved."

But emotions were too raw for Leopard to accept the apology in the pit garage.

"We didn't want Darryn Binder's presence at the box because it is obvious that after deciding Dennis Foggia's chances in the fight for the championship, it should be reasonable to think that moment wasn’t the right one," said a team statement.

"Darryn Binder has thrown away all the effort and hard work of our team this year. it wasn't just a race incident. Thanks for understanding it. The most important thing is that Dennis Foggia is fine after the crash."

Acosta went on to win the race, his first victory since Styria in August, from Andrea Migno and Niccolo Antonelli.

While Red Bull KTM star Acosta will move to Moto2 next year, Foggia will remain with Leopard Honda for another attempt at the Moto3 crown.

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