Binder losing his grip on 2024 season

Brad Binder finished eighth in the Catalunya MotoGP. | Red Bull

Brad Binder finished eighth in the Catalunya MotoGP. | Red Bull

Published May 28, 2024


Morgan Bolton

Tired tyres were the main culprit this past weekend as Brad Binder saw his grip on a potential podium finish degrade away at the Catalunya MotoGP.

The Red Bull KTM rider started the race in third on Sunday, perfectly placed to push on for a top-three finish after a horrid session the previous day in the sprint, where he crashed out. Unfortunately, it became clear as early as the sixth lap that the 28-year-old would not have the confidence in his machinery to claim a valuable podium.

Instead, Binder had to switch to management mode, nursing his front-wheel grip, while also having to consider the degradation of his rear wheel. As such, he dropped down the order, posting times in the 1:41s when the front-runners were pushing into the 1:39s and into the mid-1:40s.

He only managed to breach the 1:39 mark in three laps of the 24-lap race, his best time a 1:39.913 effort in the second lap, and as his times tumbled, so did any thought of a top-three finish. He eventually placed eighth in the GP, over 18.578sec behind eventual winner and defending champion Fransceso Bagnaia on the Ducati.

“It was a bit tricky in the race,” Binder said afterwards.

“We’d been good here all weekend but after six laps in the race the front tire dropped off and in the last few weeks when I’ve ignored that strange feeling then I end-up crashing. So, I needed to be a bit careful and when I felt the limit coming I had to lower the pace.

“I could not make time on braking and entry and nursing it around meant there were not really moments where I could make pace ... A tricky day.”

It was much worse than a tricky day for Binder and his team – miserable would arguably be a better description. Binder’s teammate Jack Miller crashed out – his third consecutive DNF, while Pedro Acosta and Augusto Fernadez of sister team GasGas also retired from the race.

Moreover, both Binder and KTM lost out in their respective championships, the South African dropping to eighth in the world riders’ championship, while Aprillia leapfrogged KTM into second in the constructors.

Binder managed to collect at least eight points, but there can be little doubt that a growing concern will be building in the team ahead of this weekend’s Italian GP. After six races, the factory team has scored only one podium, way back in Qatar in the opening race in early March.

Binder became the fastest rider in MotoGP history last year in Italy, clocking a face-melting 366.1km/h at Mugello. It remains to be seen whether he will have the confidence this time around on his bike to achieve something similar.

Related Topics:

brad bindermotogp