Darryn Binder wants to ’come back to reality’ at Argentine GP after Indonesia MotoGP heroics

Darryn Binder on his Yamaha at a wet Indonesia MotoGP. Picture: Willy Kurniawan/Reuters

Darryn Binder on his Yamaha at a wet Indonesia MotoGP. Picture: Willy Kurniawan/Reuters

Published Apr 1, 2022


Johannesburg - The manner in which Darryn Binder fearlessly navigated through the field during the Indonesia MotoGP a fortnight ago, bodes well for the 24-year-old's future in MotoGP.

Darryn was arguably one of the riders of the day in wet, almost monsoon, conditions, starting a lowly 23rd on the grid to eventually secure an impressive 10th, along with his first points in MotoGP. A week earlier, he narrowly missed out on scoring a 15th-place finish in Qatar.

Such was the quality of his race at the Mandalika International Street Circuit that it would be easy to forget that it was only his second GP in the elite class, and with no prior experience in the Moto2 category after leapfrogging from Moto3 into MotoGP.

Whether he and his WithU Yamaha RNF team will be able to maintain such an impressive start to the season remains to be seen, and to err on the side of caution regarding further success is probably the best recourse for now.

Nonetheless, there can be no denying that Darryn has the talent and skills, even so early on, to be in the upper echelons of the sport.

Darryn leads the rookies heading into this weekend's Argentine Grand Prix, and while no doubt buoyed by his performance in Indonesia, he revealed earlier this week, while speaking to Speedweek, that he is not getting ahead of himself.

Said Darryn: “I was fighting riders who had already won in MotoGP and for me it was my first time in the rain, it was a really good feeling, a lot of fun.

“I'm enjoying this moment, but I also have in mind that we have to start over in Argentina. We have to stay calm and take one step at a time. Because this is going to be a new track for me in MotoGP.

"So, I'm enjoying the moment, but then I come back to reality.”

Darryn and older brother Brad will have that one fact in common when they hit the asphalt of the Autodromo Termas de Rio Honda in that neither of them have competed on a MotoGP bike there. Due to Covid-19, the last time the event was held was in 2019 when Brad was still in Moto2 and Darryn in Moto3 with Brad finishing sixth and Darryn second.

Brad had arguably a sub-par performance in Indonesia – especially after his stellar opening race in Qatar – finishing eighth after a poor start. He and Darryn, by the end of the race, had their elbows out against one another as they sparred for position – Brad eventually coming out top trumps.

The same critique after two rounds of the calendar cannot be said of Brad's team, Red Bull KTM, who have had a rip-roaring start to the season. In Qatar, through Binder, they secured a podium finish, and in Indonesia teammate Miguel Oliveira stormed to a brilliant victory. KTM lead the constructors' standings – a development that few would have predicted after pre-season and with all the focus on Ducati and Honda.

If their previous races are a marker for what is to come, then a top eight in qualifying for the KTMs will leave them in good stead. As shown in both races so far, the KTM has the ability to rocket off the starting line and into podium contention.

Darryn, meanwhile, will have another excellent outing if he can manage a top 15 finish. The Argentine GP starts at 8pm on Sunday.