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Portugal Grand Prix was a weekend to forget for Binder brothers

KTM South African rider Brad Binder rides his bike during the third practice session of the MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao on Saturday. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

KTM South African rider Brad Binder rides his bike during the third practice session of the MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao on Saturday. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

Published Apr 25, 2022


Johannesburg — The Algarve International Circuit will not be remembered fondly by Brad and Darryn Binder after their review of the race is completed, that is for sure.

It was a pretty tough day at the office for both, as the Portuguese Grand Prix took a bite out of their confidence, masticated on their ambitions, and then unceremoniously spat them out to end a disappointing day on the track for South Africa.

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Brad’s streak of scoring in 20 races for Red Bull KTM came to an end mid-race when he over-compensated in a corner and spun out of the Top 15. He did manage to get back on his bike, but by then the field had passed him and he was only able to finish in 22nd.

It went better for teammate Migual Oliveria, who rocketed off the starting line to eventually finish fifth in his home race, but the only certainty that KTM are currently espousing is uncertainty. Unfortunately, for the team, they just seem unable to string together consistent performances, instead oscillating between the sublime and mediocre.

It makes for frustrating viewing, especially if you are inclined towards backing Brad at every event; and there is no doubt that he too is feeling annoyed by his current form. In the greater scheme of things, it was a rare failure for the 26-year-old, but disappointing nevertheless as Brad had big ambitions at the beginning of the season, stating that his objective was to compete for podium places in every race.

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“It was nice to wake-up to sunshine and have a dry track to race on,” said Brad after the race.

“Warm-up went reasonably well and I noticed a few things with the set-up but we didn’t really have time to work on it. I was battling in the race and fighting to get the bike stopped when I was behind people but started to find my groove.

“I was pushing-on but unfortunately got sucked into one of the corners too much and tucked the front. Sorry to the team for messing-up. This happens. We’ll move on, and Jerez is normally a great track for us.”

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Darryn, meanwhile, is finding life in the MootGP category extremely difficult at the moment. The WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP team rider finished 17th in Portugal, but, if we are being honest, he only managed to finish that high due to the DNFs of his brother, Lerenzo Savadori, Fabio di Giannantonio, Joan Mir, Jack Miller, Enea Bastianini and Jorge Martin.

Make no mistake, Darryn has all the skills, tools and talents to be a superb driver in the elite class, but at the moment it seems his team has thrown him to the wolves and they are just making up the numbers — as sad to say as that is.

The 24-year-old really needs any sort of win this Sunday in the Spanish GP. Despite the latest set-back, Darryn remained positive.

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Said Darryn on his team’s website after the GP: “It was an okay race.

“Unfortunately, it has been a difficult weekend with all the rain and (on Sunday) morning we only had warm-up as a dry session and I was really struggling in warm-up.

“I was very slow.

“In the race, luckily, I managed to find a bit of feeling. I went from doing 1:44s in warm-up to doing 1:41s in the race, so I improved by like three seconds. I managed to do all the race at an okay pace.

“Unfortunately, I really needed more dry laps on the big bike here to be able to make a step forward to stay with the other guys. I was with Di Giannantonio and we were catching Marco Bezzecchi towards the end of the race, but when Di Giannantonio had a problem, I wasn’t able to close the gap to Bezzecchi on my own.

“I felt my references haven’t been good on my own. Overall, I made a good step forward from the warm-up to the race, but another session in the dry would have definitely helped,” he concluded.


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