Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Brad Binder rues not cashing in on ‘fast’ KTM at Misano

Red Bull KTM rider now all of 45 points off top three in premier class title race.

A place on the podium in the MotoGP title race is slowly slipping away from Brad Binder.

The Red Bull KTM rider fought back bravely at the San Marino MotoGP on Sunday to finish 14th after an early crash. But he only earned seven points, two points in the main race and five in the sprint race, at the weekend.

Ducati riders Francesco Bagnaia (283), Jorge Martin (247) and Marco Bezzecchi (218) all recorded double podiums at Misano. Binder (173) trails Bezzecchi by 45 points and will have to ride out of his skin to haul the Italian in.

The South African is 13 points clear of Aleix Espargaro in fifth place.

ALSO READ: Pecco Bagnaia lauds Brad Binder for his actions in ‘lucky’ MotoGP escape

Close, but no cigar

There are eight Grands Prix remaining on the 20-race calendar, with the next stop in India in two weeks’ time.

While KTM has come on leaps and bounds in 2023, it will have to further raise its game to catch the Ducatis. Binder believes he could have reeled them in on Sunday. After starting seventh on the grid, he moved up to fourth before going down into Turn 14.

ALSO READ: Brad Binder on riding over Bagnaia’s legs in ‘scary’ Catalan MotoGP incident

Dani Pedrosa, who rode alongside Binder and Jack Miller as a KTM wildcard in San Marino, tried his utmost in both races to catch the Ducati trio out front, but had to settle for two fourth place finishes.
Miller failed to score points in the sprint race and crashed out of the main race.

Brad Binder upbeat

“To be honest in both races we have been fast. (On Saturday) I had an issue at the start and was able to catch up, which was really good,” Binder told his team’s website

“(On Sunday) I improved and was feeling great but it looks like I had a little bit more (lean) angle in Turn 14 and it was enough to lose the front.

“After that it was a very long 20 laps with some of the aero gone. There are positives to take from today but sorry to the guys in my team for losing a good opportunity.”

ALSO READ: Brad Binder sets new benchmark around Kyalami

Testing day

Red Bull KTM team manager Francesco Guidotti applauded Binder for salvaging the two points on Sunday.

“Brad was on a mission and had a better start compared to (on Saturday),” said Guidotti.

“He was trying to manage the situation and suddenly went down. Even without the side pod his pace to come back was pretty good and he could salvage some points.

“We are confident, and we know our potential and it wasn’t what we showed today.”

Monday will be another crucial day for KTM’s progress at the official MotoGP testing session at Misano.

ALSO READ: ‘I would love it’: Brad Binder eager for home Grand Prix at Kyalami

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