Danilo Petrucci leads the field in Sunday’s rain-affected French MotoGP. Picture: REUTERS
Danilo Petrucci leads the field in Sunday’s rain-affected French MotoGP. Picture: REUTERS

SA's Brad Binder took the first half of Sunday’s French MotoGP to get to grips with the wet surface before upping his pace to move up to 12th at the finish.

“Mixed emotions today because at the beginning of the race I was incredibly slow for the first 10 to 15 laps. Then, all of a sudden, I found two seconds on one lap and started to understand a lot more about how much grip there was available," said the KTM rider, who qualified 17th.

"It was disappointing that I wasted so much time in the beginning and I learnt today how incredible the tyres are; I’ve never been able to do things like that in the wet and it’s quite amazing to see what you can do with the bike in those conditions. So today was a learning day because I was much, much better at the end than the beginning. The next time it’s wet we will be better off.”

In the past few races Binder has been unable to find the form that saw him winning the Czech Moto GP at Brno in August, and he has slipped to 10th in the championship in his rookie season. He has 58 points compared to championship leader Fabio Quartararo’s 108, with five races remaining.

Sunday’s French MotoGP at Le Mans was won by Ducati's Danilo Petrucci, ahead of Repsol Honda rookie Alex Marquez, who clinched his first MotoGP podium. Binder’s KTM teammate Pol Espargaro was third.


Bottas needs a miracle to deny record-setting Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 Formula One wins. Picture: REUTERS
Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 Formula One wins. Picture: REUTERS

Valtteri Bottas fell 69 points behind his Mercedes teammate in the Formula One championship on Sunday and said he needed a miracle to prevent Lewis Hamilton from clinching a seventh title.

The Finn started on pole but his Mercedes suffered a mechanical retirement in the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, leaving Hamilton to take victory and equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 wins.

Bottas is still Hamilton’s closest challenger in a season dominated by Mercedes, but with six races left the points gap is equivalent to almost three race wins.

Nico Rosberg, the 2016 world champion for Mercedes, said Bottas was not doing enough to challenge Hamilton and would need to raise his game and reset his mental approach to take the fight to the Briton.

The next race is the Portuguese Grand Prix on October 25.


Hyundai's Sordo wins Sardinia Rally

Daniel Sordo of Spain celebrates victory during Day Three of the WRC Italia Sardegna in Alghero, Italy, on October 11, 2020. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)
Daniel Sordo of Spain celebrates victory during Day Three of the WRC Italia Sardegna in Alghero, Italy, on October 11, 2020. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

Hyundai's Dani Sordo won Sunday’s Rally Italy Sardinia for the second year in a row. The Spaniard held off Belgian teammate Thierry Neuville to win by 5.1 seconds with Toyota's Sebastien Ogier third and a second further back.

Toyota's Elfyn Evans finished fourth and retained the world championship lead. He has 111 points, with Ogier on 97 and Neuville 87 with two of the season's eight rounds remaining. Hyundai lead the manufacturers' championship with 208 points to Toyota's 201.

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