Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Binder dusts himself off after costly MotoGP rodeo in Texas

Red Bull KTM man drops from second to sixth in the world championship.

Brad Binder put a positive spin on a weekend that saw him slip all of four places in the MotoGP world championship.

The Red Bull KTM rider earned seven points at the Grand Prix of the Americas for finishing a lowly ninth in the main race in Austin, Texas on Sunday. On Saturday, he finished the sprint empty handed in 12th place.

After going into the weekend second in the title race behind Jorge Martin, Binder now finds himself in sixth place on 49 points. Martin (80) is still out in front, followed by Enea Bastianini (59), Maverick Vinales (56), Pedro Acosta (54) and Pecco Bagnaia (50).

Brad Binder disappointed

“A difficult weekend and one to forget. I think our GP looks a lot worse than it was!” Binder said after the race.

Binder’s problems started after crashing during qualifying. He switched to a spare RC16, but struggled with its configuration. He then had to contend with starting from 17th on the grid at the Circuit of the Americas (Cota) and suffered bike damage as he tried to gain places during the start of the main race.

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“I got the best launch of my life! That was the highlight,” Binder said.

“In Turn 1, I tried to rail the outside to gain as many positions as I could and with the mess between riders there I unfortunately broke my rear wing and front left wing.

Acosta shows the way

“20 laps around Cota with that missing wasn’t much fun. I could finally find a rhythm between that situation and my tire and make some pace.”

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Rookie Acosta, riding for KTM’s Tech3 team, showed that the RC6 has huge potential by following up his fourth place in the sprint race with a runners-up spot in the main race.

Aprilia’s Vinales completed the double on Sunday, with Bastianini the only Ducati rider on the podium in third place.

Good signs

Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM team manager, shares Binder’s sentiments that the Austrian outfit will go into the Spanish MotoGP in two weeks’ time in a good space.

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“We’re looking forward to Jerez because there are a lot of signs that the bike is working well. We saw it with Pedro and we believe it will perform at a high level again there,” said Guidotti.

It was a weekend to forget for Brad Binder’s brother Darryn Binder. After crashing early in the Moto2 race, the Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP managed to rejoin but finish last, unable to add to his solitary championship point.

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