Brad Binder made his way to the front and survived a late challenge by Joan Mir to take victory in the Moto2 Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.

Binder started on the second row and immediately set about his charge through the pack, as the lead eight started to pull away but there was no escape even after the group splintered with Lorenzo Baldassarri, his Pons team-mate Augusto Fernandez, Xavi Vierge and rookie Mir all remaining in close contention until the final lap.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider claimed his third win of the season after pulling out a gap on the closing lap, but Mir refused to give in and chased him down all the way to the line, a wobblefor the South African and a huge slipstream for the rookie gave him an opportunity to pass, but Binder held on.

The EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider was a slim 0.036s behind at the flag, and just under a second clear of the battle for third.

A late tumble saw Baldassarri out of the running, so Vierge and Fernandez were left to duke it out for the final podium spot. The Dynavolt Intact GP rider won out after some contact between the pair in a fiesty final lap, pulling ahead right at the line, with fourth still a great result for Fernandez - his best finish to date.

Luca Marini felt he had strong race pace and slowly picked off the opposition to climb to fifth at the close, finishing the best of the Sky Racing Team VR46 pair.

Dominique Aegerter chased down the leaders after slipping out of the front group, he did not quite have the pace on the day but sixth is still the Kiefer Racing rider’s best result of the season.

Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was next over the finish line in seventh, an impressive result given how heavy his Saturday crash had been.

Jesko Raffin, who is still replacing Alejandro Medina at SAG Team, had a great result at Phillip Island last season when he claimed fourth, and though he did not quite match that result he still recorded a solid eighth.

Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP) had to start from the back of the grid after his bike would not start, but flew through the field for a hard earned ninth.

Fabio Quartararo, who won before being disqualified in Japan, completed the top ten for Speed Up.

The battle between the title leaders was next on track. Miguel Oliveira’s team-mate won the race but the Portuguese rider could not make the KTM work for him, fighting it all the way for eleventh. Conversely with a big title advantage to his name Francesco Bagnaia only needed to keep Oliveira in his sights, so after a brief rush to make up places after qualifying down in 15th (Oliveira was 19th on the grid) he sat in behind his title rival and brought the Sky Racing bike home in twelfth.

That means Bagnaia’s lead now sits at 36 points after losing just one point to Oliveira as the title battle rolls over to Sepang next weekend.

The remaining points on offer went to Tetsuta Nagashima (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) in 13th, Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) who dug deep to climb to 14th and Edgar Pons in 15th on the second Speed Up entry.

Former MotoGP rider Bryan Staring replaced the injured Bo Bendsneyder and finished 21st on home soil.

Pole man Mattia Pasini was the first to exit, sliding out of the lead after just one lap.

He was soon joined by Iker Lecuona who pushed too hard at turn two when running second.

Isaac Vinales, Jules Danilo, Federico Fuligni, Jorge Navarro and Xavi Cardelus all also failed to finish at Phillip Island, with Remy Gardner also failing to finish his home grand prix.

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