Brad Binder ‘feeling sorry for his team’ after Dutch GP penalty

FILE - Brad Binder was demoted from his podium finish at the Dutch GP. Photo: EPA

FILE - Brad Binder was demoted from his podium finish at the Dutch GP. Photo: EPA

Published Jun 26, 2023


Johannesburg - Brad Binder was left to rue another error of centimetres on Sunday at the prestigious Assen TT, and while the Red Bull KTM rider remained defiant in his hopefulness, there will surely be a growing desperation developing at the team.

Binder has come desperately close to standing on the podium again this season since his second-place finish in Spain in late April, none so more than this past weekend. A handful of fine sprint performances on Saturdays has only compounded the belief that he should by now have collected more top three finishes in the MotoGP class so far in 2023.

On Sunday, Binder put in a phenomenal shift.

Starting from fifth on the grid, he rocketed into the lead, and then defended like a Trojan to battle to a third-place finish with one lap remaining. But, on the penultimate Turn 17, the 28-year-old went with the slightest of margins over the track-limits and was summarily demoted to fourth, losing his podium-finish to Aleix Espargaro of Aprilia.

On Saturday, Binder made a similar error, which also compromised his sprint race finish. His performance on Sunday was even more impressive since he and the team took a gamble in their tyre selection.

It became apparent by the closing stages that he was battling hard to maintain grip around the brutally fast TT Assen Circuit in northeastern Netherlands as his soft rear wheel started to become threadbare.

“To be honest,” Binder said afterwards, “I can deal with this situation, but I feel really sorry for my entire team.

“They did an incredible job all weekend and they gave me a bike that I could qualify well. My start was insane and, somehow, we made the soft tyre work until the end.

“We should have had two podiums. I don’t know what I was doing but I didn’t even realize I’d touched that area again.

“Sorry to the team and I will look at the positives of being strong all weekend and in Silverstone we’ll go again.”

It was a sentiment shared by team manager Francesco Guidotti.

“A great race today from Brad,” he said.

“He did an incredible job: Leading, second from mid-distance and always in the top three.

“He managed the lap-times and the rear tire and unfortunately, he touched the green on the last lap. It’s painful to lose the podium again.

“We paid the same bill at the same corner! It’s something we must learn for next year. Overall, though, it was a positive weekend because of our competitiveness.”

Twelve races remain in the season, with the next at Silverstone in August. Although Binder has seemingly made peace with his failure this past weekend, he will also have all of July to come to terms mentally and prepare to get in-between the Ducatis again.


IOL Sport

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