Home competition discipline Binder happy to put poor American run behind him

Binder happy to put poor American run behind him

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The South African started the race from 17th on the grid after a poor qualifying, but managed to fight his way up the grid to finish ninth, his worst finish of the season so far after three races.

Brad Binder will probably be happy to have departed the Circuit of the Americas after a tough weekend at the US MotoGP. File Picture: KARIM JAAFAR, AFP

Morgan Bolton

BRAD Binder will no doubt be happy to have departed the Circuit of the Americas (Cota) after a tough weekend at the US MotoGP.

The South African started the race from 17th on the grid after a poor qualifying, but managed to fight his way up the grid to finish ninth, his worst finish of the season so far after three races.

Indeed, the factory Red Bull KTM team will admit that Cota was not kind to them after Binder’s teammate, Jack Miller of Australia, also finished at the back end of the point-scoring positions.

Both riders will have looked on in envy at Pedro Acosta’s weekend, one suspects, after the young sensation claimed an impressive second-place finish ‒ his second consecutive podium in the elite field ‒ on KTM’s sister team Red Bull GasGas Tech 3. The factory team simply could not emulate that feat while in Austin, Texas.

“We knew this GP would be tricky,” team manager Francesco Guidotti, admitted afterwards. “Jack started really well but lost feeling and dropped. The first half of the race was amazing, fighting in the leading group, and we need to analyse what happened.

“Brad got away really well from the sixth row but had that contact in the first corner and lost some bodywork there. He didn’t have the best racing conditions but recovered positions and brought some points home.

“We’re looking forward to Jerez because there are a lot of signs that the bike is working well – we saw it with Pedro – and we believe it will perform at a high level again there.”

It was a sentiment shared by Binder, who endured a incident-filled first lap. Said the 28-year-old afterwards: “A tricky race for us, even though I got the best launch of my life. I think that was the highlight.

“In Turn 1, I tried to rail the outside to gain as many positions as I could, and with the mess between riders there, I unfortunately broke my rear wing and front left wing. Twenty laps around Cota with that missing wasn’t much fun.

“I could finally find a rhythm between that situation and my tyre and make some pace. A difficult weekend and one to forget, although I think our GP here looks a lot worse than it was!”

Next up for Binder and Co is the Spanish GP at the end of April. Binder finished second there last year, and will hope to achieve a similar result in two weeks’ time, if only to help forget what was an abject race from the whole team in the US.

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