Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Brad Binder chuffed with KTM progress during MotoGP testing

South African rider says everything is coming together nicely ahead of 2024 season.

Brad Binder is confident Red Bull KTM is on the right track for a successful 2024 MotoGP after the conclusion of a three-day official testing in Sepang.

Binder’s lap time of 1:57.307 placed him seventh fastest in Malaysia. It was again the Ducatis that dominated proceedings with world champion Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge Martin and Enea Bastianini finishing in the top three.

But Binder is not losing sleep over the 0.625 seconds Bagnaia was faster than him. The South African and his Australian teammate Jack Miller racked up more than 350 laps in Malaysia.

Brad Binder upbeat

There is one more official test in Qatar later this month before the MotoGP season gets underway from 8 to 10 March.

“We are better than the time sheets look and once we back-check everything then I’m sure we’ll be stronger,” Binder told the KTM website after the test in Sepang.

“[It was] probably one of the best pre-season tests I’ve ever had. We have still not put everything together to see the full potential but we tried so many different things and once we have the time to select all the best parts then we’ll be in a position to make a step.

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“In general, we made decent headway and the guys at the factory can understand a lot more.”

Title challenge

It will be Binder’s fifth season in the premier class after making his debut in 2020. The 2016 Moto3 champion has made steady progress in finishing 11th, sixth twice and then fourth in the title race.

Red Bull KTM team manager Francesco Guidotti last month declared Binder ready to launch a proper challenge on the 2024 MotoGP world title. But Guidotti did admit he was not yet happy with the speed after Sepang.

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“[I’m] happy with the work but not yet with the speed. We have some more ideas to improve, and we were getting better each day,” said Guidotti.

‘Speed will come’

“Everyone could see our aerodynamic work, but we also did a lot with electronics, the engine and also the frame. We did a 360 job with the bike and it takes time to get up to speed between the setting changes.

“We are satisfied and we know the speed will come.”

Red Bull KTM will officially unveil their RC16 machine for the 2024 season on Monday.

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