’I would have liked to have done a lot better than eighth place’, says Brad Binder after Catalan GP
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What a turnaround it has been for Red Bull KTM in recent weeks.
After an underwhelming start to the season, the team has found their groove in the last two races at Italian GP and most recently at the Catalan GP this past Sunday, with Migual Oliveira finishing on the podium in both, and South Africa's Brad Binder completing both those events in the Top 10.
Oliveira, especially, is enjoying a purple patch and claimed the first victory for the team in Spain, putting in a magnificent, composed performance that won him the top-step on the day. His triumph bodes well for the team now going forward, and will most certainly spit teammate Binder to improve on his season. Fans of the team, and the South African have, therefore, much to be excited for as the MotoGP train heads to central Europe for events in Germany, The Netherlands, and a double-header in Austria at the Red Bull Ring.
Oliveira was justifiably over the moon with his victory, his first since winning the Portuguese GP at the end of last season, and only his third in the elite category.
Said Oliveira of his win: “This is almost hard to put into words.
"I had one of the best races of my career so far," he continued. "Everything was so hard; the tire management and keeping my cool when Fabio (Quartararo) was putting pressure on me for so many laps. I really kept cool when he overtook me and took my chance on the straight to get him back.
"It was a perfect race, and I cannot thank the Red Bull KTM guys enough for giving me a perfect machine to get back here to the top of the podium. I also want to thank the fans. Everything has been amazing, having the public here and getting back to normal.”
It wasn't as perfect an outing for Binder, however, and although the 25-year-old seemed to have the pace during the early exchanges of GP, he was unable to capitalise on it. Binder started eight on the grid, and that is also where he ended, battling to overtake the riders in-front of him. He will, nonetheless, feel there is a lot of room for improvement and a future opportunity to threaten for a podium, especially after Oliveira's remarkable win.
“It was a really tough race," said Binder afterwards.
"I didn’t get the best of starts because someone hit me in Turn 2 and I lost a few positions. I tried to fight my way through but I was really struggling to get out of the corners. I was catching the group in front of me but then with three laps to go my rear tire was finished and it was like my speed fell off a cliff: it was impossible to keep going forward.
"I would have liked to have done a lot better than eighth place because I felt we had the potential, but I struggled with that rear traction (on Sunday),” he explained.
Younger brother Darryn, meanwhile, was in a dogfight of note in Moto3. Binder jun seized the lead of the race on a handful of occasions, but the slip-stream effect and the competitive nature of the category made it virtually impossible to predict an outcome. Darryn was certainly in it to win it as close as the penultimate lap of the event, but just couldn't overcome the tow on the main-straight to take advantage of his pace and skill in a race that was eventually won by Sergio Garcia.
He finished in fifth, and should feel proud of his efforts as he continues to rebuild his confidence.
* Quotes courtesy of Flume Digital Marketing and PR