Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Brad Binder says KTM ‘more or less’ ready for MotoGP season

New 21-race calendar starts on 26 March at the Algarve Circuit in Portugal.

Brad Binder believes his KTM Red Bull team has shown enough promise during the last official test in Portugal to put them in good stead for the upcoming MotoGP season.

The two-day testing at the Algarve International Circuit, the second of two officially pre-season test events, concluded on Sunday. The 4.5 km circuit will also host the season’s opening Grand Prix on 26 March.

Binder posted the ninth fastest time on Sunday. He was just over half a second slower than world champion Francesco Bagnaia, who recorded a record lap of 1:37.968, but 0.429 seconds faster than new KTM team-mate Jack Miller.

Brad Binder cautiously optimistic

“We made a good step forward today,” Binder told the KTM website after Sunday’s outing.

“We had to re-think things last night because I wasn’t that happy with what we were doing [on Saturday]. The team did a great job to make me more comfortable on the bike and I could push a bit harder.

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“We are closer to where we need to be. The time attack went better than I expected.

“There is definitely a step we can still make before the race but I think we are more or less ready to go into the season.”

According to Sebastian Risse, the Red Bull KTM technical manager, rear grip on the RC16s was an issue on the first day of testing.

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Room for improvement

“I would say we had a difficult start to the test and had to work through a lot on the first day,” Risse said.

“The main topic for some riders was rear grip, and looking at the lap-times overall, it was clear that the track today [Sunday] was in better shape and this helped us but we also improved our cause.

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“Now that we have had this test everybody should be up to pace right away at the GP and I think there is still some room to work there.”

Red Bull KTM now have a few days at its race workshop in Munderfing to work through all the data from the final testing before heading off to Portugal again for the first of 2023’s 21 races.

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