Brad Binder’s fourth place finish at the Red Bull Ring catapulted the 25-year-old into the top 5 of the driver’s world championship, with pundits declaring the KTM rider to now be a dark horse in the title chase.
JOHANNESBURG – Brad Binder started from the back of the grid, witnessed a major crash, took his chances and rode his luck to finish just outside of the podium at Sunday’s Austrian GP.
His fourth place finish at the Red Bull Ring catapulted the 25-year-old into the top 5 of the driver’s world championship, with pundits declaring the KTM rider to now be a dark horse in the title chase.
That is still a long way off, however, and much improvement will be required from Binder and his team if they are to challenge for the championship. Much like his Czech GP victory – his first win in MotoGP – a week earlier, his fourth-placed finish this past weekend, was rather unexpected.
Said Binder: “(Sunday) was much better than we expected. I was happy with fourth position, I have to say.”
Binder started the race off well, fighting his way up the field to battle for 10th before a horrid crash involving Italian Franco Morbidelli and Johann Zarco forced a restart.
Though sickening, the crash was advantageous to Binder, who found himself in the top half of the grid at the restart. And although not as potent in his overtaking thereafter, Binder was propelled further up the field by more retirements, including that of teammate Pol Espargaro, who slid out of the race chasing victory.
It was a lucky afternoon for Binder, as much as it was down to his skill and perseverance, a fact that the Potchefstroom-born rider was quick to acknowledge.
“It was tough at the beginning because I was able to make up places and it was a shame about the red flag, but it did give me an opportunity to restart from higher up on the grid,” said Binder.
“I didn’t pass too many riders after the restart but there were a lot of crashes. On one hand I’m quite satisfied but then I was also pretty lucky. Things turned out well but let’s work again for next week.”
Next up for Binder and Co is the Styria GP, also at the Red Bull Ring, this Sunday and another bit of luck, coupled with some good pace, would do Binder nicely.