Brad Binder on MotoGP prospects: KTM have made a big step forward

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s South African rider Brad Binder rides his bike during pre-season for the coming MotoGP season.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s South African rider Brad Binder rides his bike during pre-season for the coming MotoGP season. Picture: Mohd Rasfan / AFP

Published Feb 13, 2024


Brad Binder admitted that he is all hands and no rhythm on the guitar, but that he will be able to pick his opportunities better this season after an oscillating 2023 that was just off tune for Red Bull KTM.

Speaking at the launch of the new KTM for the upcoming season on Monday on the MotoGP website, Binder said with a chuckle: “No, I am absolutely useless on the guitar … I can’t play them to save my life.”

While the 28-year-old can finger a ditty or two, he arguably won’t have much time to improve his musical skills as it seems more than likely that he will be too busy fighting for world rider championship points in the hopes of improving on a fourth-place finish from last year.

The recently concluded pre-season test in Sepang indicated that Binder and co will once again be the main rivals to the imperious Ducati. It will, nevertheless, remain a monumental undertaking.

The Italian manufacturer smashed the 1min:56sec barrier last week in Malaysia, with four of their riders managing to do so only 18 months after the first 1:57 had been recorded in the elite category. Binder’s best effort, meanwhile, was a solid 1:57.307.

There will also be the added pressure of competing against teenage sensation Pedro Acosta, whose star continues to rise. He will be pushing for a ride in the factory team by putting in noteworthy performances in Red Bull’s development team, GasGas Tech3.

Nevertheless, Binder left Malaysia reassured. “Sepang was a really positive test,” he said. “We started off the first day purely trying to get back up to speed and to get my riding up to where it should be again. From Saturday morning, I was able to put in a really good lap time.

“The second day in the morning, I was able to be a lot faster straight away and from there we just started testing different aeros (and packages). It is clear we have made a big step forward ourselves, but it seems so have the other guys,” he continued.

“I felt like our bike was working much better than it has previously, and we have found some small things that has made quite a big difference.

The teams will have a few weeks to implement the data from Malaysia before a second round of testing commences in Qatar from next week Monday. The season starts in the tiny Persian Gulf nation on the weekend of March 8.