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Red Bull KTM have taken a few steps forward, then a few more back this season

FILE - South Africa’s Brad Binder on the podium after taking the second place in the Motorcycling Grand Prix of Qatar at the Losail international circuit in Doha, Qatar, on 06 March 2022. Photo: Noushad Thekkayil/EPA

FILE - South Africa’s Brad Binder on the podium after taking the second place in the Motorcycling Grand Prix of Qatar at the Losail international circuit in Doha, Qatar, on 06 March 2022. Photo: Noushad Thekkayil/EPA

Published Apr 21, 2022

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Johannesburg — The Binder Brothers — Brad and Darryn — had a rather innocuous Grand Prix of the Americas a fortnight ago, but will hope for positive movement this weekend when MotoGP returns for the start of its European leg.

Brad finished a disappointing 12th for Red Bull KTM at the Circuit of the Americas, while his younger brother had a tough outing to finish last in 22nd after Alex Marquez and Marco Bezzecchi failed to complete the race.

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After a solid start to the season in which they scored two podiums, including a race victory, KTM have seemingly reverted to type with inconsistent performances in the last two races in Argentina and the US. And while it is true that they currently hold second in the constructors’ and team standings, there is very little now separating them from the chasing pack as they head into the Portuguese GP at the Algarve International Circuit this weekend.

It is then pertinently clear that KTM still have a lot to work on if they are to run week-in and week-out with the big boys, a sentiment shared by Chicho Lorenzo — father of three-time MotoGP world champion Jorge — in a scathing assessment of the Austrian-outfit factory team and satellite team, Tech3.

“KTM is well positioned because of the regularity, not the genius, of Brad Binder,” said Lorenzo on his YouTube channel Motogepeando earlier this week.

“He raised his head because of (Miguel) Oliveira's victory (in Indonesia) but the riders of the satellite team (Tech3), nothing was gained from the exchange made with (Danilo) Petrucci and (Iker) Lecuona. They are lost, trying to understand these bikes, not even (Remy) Gardner or Raul Fernandez, who had a wonderful season last year in Moto2.

“So, who knows what's going on there, because it seems like with KTM it never ends. When it takes a few steps forward, then it takes a few steps back again.”

The elder Lorenzo was also none-too-pleased with Yamaha and Darryn, saying of the 23-year-old’s elevation into the elite category: “At the moment they (Yamaha) have the signing of (Andrea) Dovizioso, which we already discussed here that we never fully understood.

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“That it was not a bet for the future, not even for the present. The signing of Darryn Binder has also been a good crap.”

Despite the mounting pressure on both Binders, Portugal could be the start of some better form as the next 12 races tour the well-treaded tracks of Europe. Darryn, especially, expressed relief to the return to that continent ahead of the GP earlier this week.

Said the WithU Yamaha RNF team rider: “I am really looking forward to getting to Portimao.

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“After being in America, which was a very difficult track, I feel like I’m a little bit more ready for Portugal now. It’s going to be a challenging track as well with all the elevation changes, ups and downs, but I’m really excited to start racing back in Europe and trying to make a step forward.

“I can’t wait for the weekend!”

The MotoGP race starts at 2pm on Sunday, and for KTM they will no doubt hope for at least a top 5 finish to arrest their recent decline, while Darryn aims for some points.

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@FreemanZAR

IOL Sport

Related Topics:

MotoGP

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