KTM rookie Brad Binder was the surprise package in the 2020 MotoGP Czech Grand Prix at the Brno Circuit. The rider not only managed to take his maiden win in the sport but also the first-ever for the Austrian factory team, beating Franco Morbidelli of Petronas Yamaha and Johann Zarco of Avintia Ducati. The unlikely top order was a shock to many as the crowd favourites, Fabio Quartararo of Petronas Yamaha, Maverick Vinales of Yamaha Racing and Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati struggled in the race.
Binder made his premier-class debut this season and dominated the race to take his first win in only his third MotoGP race by a lead of 5.266s. The race started with Zarco on pole after a superb qualifying followed by Quartararo. The Avintia rider though had a tough start that dropped him to P6, while Morbidelli used the opportunity to take the lead. Starting second, Quartararo held on to the spot behind his teammate but a good start allowed Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro to take P2 from the points leader on Turn 4 on the opening lap.
Quartararo passed Espargaro to regain P2 at the start of the second lap while Morbidelli was already pulling away from the rest of the field. At the back, KTM riders Pol Espargaro and Brad Binder were climbing up the order to take P3 and P4. Lap 3 saw Binder move ahead of his teammate to take P3, and the 2016 Moto3 champion was now breathing down Quartararo's neck for P2.
Binder finally found the opportunity to pass the Quartarraro on Lap 9 as the Frenchman started facing grip issues. Turn 11 of the same lap saw Pol Espargaro also pass Quartararo to slot into P3, but the KTM rider ran wide allowing the SRT rider to reclaim the spot. This also allowed Zarco to move up to P4. However, Zarco and Espargaro made contact, which prompted the steward to give the Avintia rider a long lap penalty on Lap 14 after the latter's crash. A decision that has seen a lot of criticism online.
At the front, Binder was now looking at the top spot and began to build pressure on Morbidelli and finally got the chance to take the lead on Lap 13. The rider immediately worked on building the gap over the SRT racer to become the first rookie since Marc Marquez (in 2013) to win a premier-class race. Morbidelli couldn't find the same pace as Binder in the closing stages but safely made it to the chequered flag to claim P2, ahead of Zarco. The rider took P3 while battling rear grip issues and defending a late charge from Suzuki's Alex Rins. Making a strong comeback since his crash in the season-opening weekend, Rins claimed P4, while Valentino Rossi took P5 after starting from P10 on the factory Yamaha. The rider missed on his eagerly-awaited 200th podium at Brno.
Taking P6 was Miguel Oliveira on the Tech3 KTM, ahead of Quartararo, who could not recover from the grip issues early on. LCR Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami took P8 with Pramac Ducati's Jack Miller taking P9. Post the crash, Aleix Espargaro recovered to take P10. It wasn't the best day for the factory Ducati riders with Andrea Dovizioso take P11 after starting 18th on the grid, followed by teammate Danilo Petrucci. Factory Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales also dropped to P14 behind LCR's Cal Crutchlow after starting at P5. Alex Marquez of Repsol Honda took the final point with teammate Stefan Bradl finishing last in a forgettable race for Honda. Tito Rabat on the second Avintia bike and Aprilia's Bradley Smith took P16 and P17 respectively. With respect to DNFs, it was an early end for Joan Mir of Suzuki and Iker Lecuona of Tech3 KTM, apart from Pol Espargaro.
The unprecedented podium at Brno does little to change the rider standings. Quartararo has managed to extend his lead in the championship by 17 points over Vinales, while Morbidelli has moved up to third in the overall standings. Petronas Yamaha SRT leads the team standings in the championship. After three rounds, it looks increasingly difficult for Marc Marquez, and by extension, the HRC team to claim the world title this year.