Rookie Brad Binder produced a sensational ride to win his first MotoGP™ race at just the third time of asking in Sunday's Czech Republic Grand Prix.
With world champion Marc Marquez still out of action, the rest of the pack have produced a thrilling start to the season with Binder rewarded for an aggressive ride to secure an unexpected first MotoGP™ triumph for KTM.
Franco Morbidelli gained a maiden podium after making a flying start but as his tyres wore there was no way to stop a flying Binder - the first South African premier class winner - in Brno.
Johann Zarco, the pole sitter, claimed a deserved third-place finish on the oldest bike on the grid despite receiving a harsh long-lap penalty for what appeared a mere racing incident with Pol Espargaro.
Fabio Quartararo won the opening two rounds at Jerez but was off the pace and finished way back in seventh, behind Alex Rins, Valentino Rossi and Miguel Oliveira, while Maverick Vinales' hugely disappointing weekend continued as he came home 14th.
Morbidelli was quick off the line and set about opening a sizeable 1.2 second gap from Quartararo, while behind them Binder tore through the pack - a dive on Aleix Espargaro moving him up to third.
With 13 laps to go, Quartararo was passed on the inside at Turn 3 by Binder and the Frenchman briefly fell behind Pol Espargaro, only for the Spaniard to go wide and then crash out after being clipped by Zarco.
Zarco was later penalised to end any hopes of challenging the leaders, but Binder continued to fly and he coasted past a slowing Morbidelli with nine laps to go.
Quartararo fell further back through the pack as Binder, the first rookie winner since Marquez at Austin in 2013, brilliantly crossed the line way ahead of Morbidelli to round out a memorable day for himself and KTM.
- Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory)
- Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha) +5.266s
- Johann Zarco (Hublot Reale Avintia) +6.470s
- Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) +6.609s
- Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) +7.517s
- Miguel Oliveira ((Red Bull KTM Factory) +7.969s
- Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) +11.827s
- Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) +12.862s
- Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) +15.013s
- Aleix Espargaro (Factory Aprilia Gresini) +15.087s
- Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) 59
- Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 42
- Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha) 31
- Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 31
- Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory) 28
- Petronas Yamaha 90
- Monster Energy Yamaha 69
- Red Bull KTM Factory 47
- Ducati 42
- LCR Honda 33
There is little respite in a condensed calendar, with the teams now heading for a Spielberg double-header starting with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring next weekend.