Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Brad Binder banking on ‘fresh start’ as MotoGP heads for Texas

Red Bull KTM star second in the world championship standings after two rounds.

Brad Binder is confident that he can resume his onslaught on the MotoGP championship at the Grand Prix of the Americas this weekend after a bit of a wobble three weeks ago in Portugal.

After starting the season with two solid second-place finishes in Qatar, the Red Bull KTM rider was fortunate to leave the second round in Portugal still second overall in the title race. After crashing out in the sprint race in Portimao, he benefitted from a few crashes in front of him to finish fourth in the main race.

Jorge Martin leads the premier-class title race on a Ducati by 60 points, with Binder 18 points behind on 42. He is ahead of Ducati factory team-mates Enea Bastianini (39) and Francesco Bagnaia (37), KTM Tech3 rookie rider Pedro Acosta (29) and veteran Marc Marquez (27) whose career has been rejuvenated by switching from Honda to Ducati.

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Good fortune

“Unfortunately, I struggled in Portimao from the first session. I didn’t find my feet. After crashing in the sprint race, I finished fourth in the main race with a lot of help in front of me,” Binder said during the official MotoGP press conference in Austin, Texas, this week.

“In Qatar, I felt closer to the top compared to last year. After the troubles in Portugal, it is a fresh start again here.

“I think the direction we are going in the way the bike is working is going to be much better here than last season.”

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Brad Binder banks on improvement

Binder says he is hoping the change of scenery from Portugal to the United States will put him in good stead. The 5.513km Circuit of the Americas has an elevation change of 41 metres, with its main straight measuring 1.2km.

“This track is super special. It has a little bit of everything,” Binder added.

“It’s a long lap and it’s important to try and find as many good laps as you can and try and find good rhythm and pace. That is my goal going into the weekend.

“I’m keen to give it another go here. The step I made from 2022 to 2023 here was huge. And I expect a step like that again this weekend.

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One lap at a time

“I just want to take it one lap at a time, focus on my job and put in the work. One thing I’ve seen during the last few races of last season and this year is that if we work really hard on the fine details, we can be there. That is my goal and that is what I plan on doing.”

Brad Binder’s younger brother Darryn Binder will be looking to take some momentum into Austin after opening his Moto2 account in Portugal. The Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP rider finished 15th in Portimao to score his first point of the season.

The 10-lap MotoGP sprint race is at 1 pm on Saturday and the 20-lap main race at 9pm on Sunday. The 16-lap Moto2 race is at 7.15pm on Sunday.

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