Placed third on the starting grid of the Japanese Grand Prix, the South African crossed the finish line in second, just over three seconds behind Jack Miller, the winner, after overtaking Jorge Martín on the last lap. Already in the vigil, one of the most repeated phrases in the appearances of the pilots referred to #33: “Be careful with Binder”.
The alert could seem a bit exaggerated if we consider that, until that moment, the Pochefstroom rider had only been able to get on the podium at the opening round of the course, in Qatar, where he finished second. However, the sixth position it occupies in the general points table, where it accumulates only one donut (Portugal), can only be understood from the good work of the Moto3 world champion (2016), who, in his third year in MotoGP , is capable of supplying the evident deficiencies that the RC16 presents, and that gain body, above all, in the mouth of Remy Gardner and Raúl Fernández, the partner of Tech3, the satellite formation of the Austrian manufacturer.
Binder ‘s brilliance contrasted in Japan with the difficulties experienced by the Australian and the Spaniard, who finished third from last (Fernández) and second from last (Gardner), only ahead of Takaaki Nakagami, who ran greatly diminished due to the state of his right hand. At the end of the race, 25 seconds passed between Binder finishing and them doing it, after maintaining a hectic brawl that fell on the Madrid side.
Asked after the test for the keys that can help understand the disparity that disparity in performance with the rider of the official team, each of them defends a different thesis .
“How to explain what Brad does? Well, I’m as lost as you are?” Gardner told Motorsport.com. “KTM tells us that we have the same material as the factory team, but I find it hard to believe that. We can’t be that bad,” continued the #87, who after staying out of the spectrum of the Austrian factory with a view to 2023, will try his luck in WorldSBK, with Yamaha.
“The bike lacks rhythm, it lacks braking, it lacks speed and it lacks grip. I have no idea how Brad manages to do what he does. I certainly can’t. He rides the bike like it’s a supermotard. And if I do that, I crash. But not only him, but also Miguel [Oliveira, who finished fifth] is going very fast,” added Gardner.
For Fernández, who next season will get on an Aprilia of the RNF team, he prefers to leave hypotheses aside and focus on unquestionable aspects. “Brad has sucked KTM all his life. And the KTM is a very radical motorcycle, which you must drive differently from the rest, because it incorporates an iron chassis instead of aluminum, and WP suspensions,” Fernández points out, before riveting: “Brad and KTM love each other very much, and that union makes it grow. What influences the most is the head, and he feels very protected by his team.”
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