Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Binder lives to fight another day after late twists in Portugal MotoGP

Red Bull KTM rider holds on to second place in the world championship.

A few late twists in the Portugal MotoGP meant that Brad Binder could breathe a sigh of relief after a challenging weekend.

Pecco Bagnaia, Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales all went down on the last few laps to help Binder finish fourth behind Jorge Martin, Enea Bastianini and rookie Pedro Acosta.

Binder who went into the second round second in the title race, will hold onto the second place for the next three weeks ahead of the Grand Prix of the Americas. But the gap to the top, that was two points after Qatar, has increased to 18 points.

Tough weekend for Brad Binder

Martin leads the way on 60 points, followed by Binder (42), Bastianini (39), Bagnaia (37) and Acosta (28).

“It was cool to take fourth today even though we had some help with it,” Binder told the KTM website.

“It was a really tough weekend and I struggled to get comfortable and that meant it was hard in the race because I wanted to push and go with the boys.”

ALSO READ: Consistency key in Brad Binder’s chase for slice of MotoGP history

The Red Bull KTM man went into the weekend on a high after posting the fifth fastest time at Algarve on Friday. But things went pear-shaped on Saturday when he crashed out during Q2. He hopped on the spare RC16, but could only qualify in 10th place.

Binder made inroads early in the sprint race, but slipped into the gravel after three laps.

Good signs for KTM

“I had to ride smart and make sure I didn’t make the same mistake as yesterday,” Binder said after the main race.

“To have fourth after a hectic and hard weekend … we’ll take it.”

ALSO READ: WATCH: Reliving Brad Binder’s four MotoGP race wins

While the two top places on the main race’s podium belonged to Ducati riders, KTM was satisfied with taking the next three places. Acosta also rides an RC16 as part of KTM’s Tech3 team, while Jack Miller finished behind his teammate Binder in fifth.

“Quite good feelings about today because it was not an easy weekend and to have these positions on a Sunday afternoon means we were not too bad,” Red Bull KTM team manager Francesco Guidotti said.

“As a manufacturer we have to be proud of the work so far.”

ALSO READ: Brad Binder sets new benchmark around Kyalami

Darryn opens account

Brad Binder’s younger brother Darryn Binder opened his Moto2 account for the season in Portugal. The Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP rider finished in 15th place to grab the last point on offer.

The Grand Prix of the Americas takes place from 12 to 14 April in Austin.

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Brad Binder Darryn Binder MotoGP Red Bull KTM

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