Nobody expected the South African, much less a KTM, in the fight for the places of honor in the first race in Qatar, but once again Brad Binder surprised locals and strangers and managed to be in the fight and get oil of the situations that were experienced during the 22 laps of the race, in which he was always among the top three.
The South African managed to start like a shot on the grid and place third in the first lap, keeping up the pace and overtaking Marc Márquez to take second. When Enea Bastianini passed him, he knew how to remain calm and end up taking advantage of Pol Espargaró’s mistake to cross the finish line second.
“It was an incredible start, from the first moment I went up gears I was able to follow the slipstream and gain positions, I wanted to reserve tires for the end, but there was a point in the race when I saw that we were there in front, all very tight, with Pol leading and pulling, and I have tried to continue with consistency from start to finish, I have tried not to make mistakes and the three of us have had a very good race, the last two laps have been very tough”, he explained.
KTM had never been consistent in Qatar, an eighth place last year was their best result here, also in the Malaysian tests, the first ones, the riders couldn’t understand the new bike.
“It is true that in Sepang I was not happy, I did not know how things were going to go, but the engineers prepared a good technical package that we already used in Mandalika and that went very well, it is all very new and we have to adjust it, but no I can thank KTM enough for this improvement that has brought us to the podium,” he admitted.
In reference to that step forward taken on an always complicated track, the runner is clear about the key.
“It has been the bike that has changed from last year, before if we didn’t brake very hard we had problems getting out of the corners and now I don’t need to be at the limit in each corner with the brakes, the team has achieved a great change to the Time to get the bike running.
About those changes, he did not want to give excessive clues.
“To be honest, I must say that there are things the same as in the previous bike, but other things are different, the set-up is completely different, the bike works better and I feel more comfortable, it gives us an opportunity with the grip so we don’t have to be always on the limit.
A podium in Qatar that puts Binder squarely in the fight for the championship.
“We are in the first race, we are going to ride on very different circuits, I want to keep our feet on the ground, we still have a lot to do”, he stopped.
“The bike is very solid at the moment, last year I had the feeling that I could do more, but this bike is going very well, we can get more potential out of the technical package, but I felt good from start to finish.” South African.