Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Brad Binder’s eye still firmly on 2023 MotoGP world title

Red Bull KTM rider vows to fight to the bitter end in the second half of the season.

Brad Binder has vowed to fight for the 2023 MotoGP crown until the bitter end.

The Red Bull KTM rider is fourth in the title race on 131 points after 10 of the season’s 20 rounds. He managed to nip away at the gap to second and third-placed Jorge Martin (173) and Marco Bezzecchi (167) respectively during the last round at Silverstone. But he still trails world champion and title race leader Francesco Bagnaia (214) by 83 points.

Brad Binder upbeat

“I’m not ruling myself out of this. I’m in for the fight. It’s not over until it’s over. I’m going to keep my head down, keep focus and keep pushing,” Binder told the MotoGP Guru programme ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

“If we can get it right, fantastic. And if we can’t, the closer we are the better.”

Finishing fourth would be a personal best for the KTM man, but the South African has his eye on a bigger prize. After winning Moto3 in 2016 and coming within a hair’s breadth of the 2019 Moto2 title, he finished 13th, sixth and again sixth in his first three seasons in MotoGP.

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Eye on the prize

“I don’t want to be fourth in the world championship. I want to be a lot further up than that. And ja, for me it’s almost like the feeling that I’ve got nothing to lose,” Binder told the MotoGP website last week.

“I feel good on the bike and understand the class much better than I did in the past. I feel like I’m ready to do good things.”

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Binder praised his factory KTM team for the ground they’ve gained on the high-flying Ducatis this season, promising there could be more to come starting at KTM’s home race at the Red Bull Ring this weekend. Bagnaia, Martin and Bezzechi are all on Ducatis, as well as Johann Zarco in fifth place and Luca Marini in seventh.

Watch out, Ducati!

“We’ve been fighting against the Ducatis every weekend. They have their strong points, but we also have ours and I think going into the second half of the year we have some things we can work on,” Binder said.

“I’m pretty sure we can take the fight to them like we have all year, but I think there is a little bit more in the pipeline and we can make that last step.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Brad Binder sets new benchmark around Kyalami

“I made many mistakes at the beginning of this year, but we always had the performances there or there about. If we can keep that level with a bit less mistakes and even up it a little bit, which I think we can, we can do really well in the second half of the season.”

The sprint race in Austria starts at 3pm on Saturday and the main at 2pm on Sunday.

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