KTM “not in a terrible place” despite struggles - Binder

Brad Binder says KTM is “not in a terrible place” despite a tough start to the 2021 MotoGP season for the Austrian manufacturer.

KTM “not in a terrible place” despite struggles - Binder

KTM had a torrid time in the Qatar double-header, with Binder and teammate Miguel Oliveira languishing outside the top 10 in 14th and 13th in the Qatar GP. Although Binder improved to eighth in the Doha round, Oliveira struggled to 15th.

At Portimao, where Oliveira dominated on the RC16 in 2020, Binder emerged best of the KTMs in fifth having started from 18th – but was unable to get involved in the podium battle - and Oliveira crashed on his way to finishing 16th.

KTM’s struggles this season emanate from Michelin’s front tyre allocation, which is proving to be to be too soft for the RC16 – with both factory riders unhappy at the decision from the tyre supplier to remove the front option which won last year’s Portuguese Grand Prix.

Binder, who ran the symmetric medium front instead of the asymmetric hard at Portimao, says KTM still needs to find something on the front-end but doesn’t feel the marque’s situation at present is as bad as it looks.

“I definitely feel like we need something on the front, for sure,” he said.

“I do feel like there’s something there we could improve. It’s clear the first three races have not been what we wanted, for sure, it’s been super-tough for us.

“But I think the important thing is to keep really working at it and I think we will get it right.

“The amount of brain power we have here in KTM is huge and I’m sure they’ll figure it out. I hope sooner than later, but we’re not in a terrible place anyway.”

Binder says KTM did make a small improvement on the front-end in Portugal, but notes he currently has to be “super-cautious” under braking and in the first part of turning – two areas the KTM needs to exploit to make its lap time.

While improving this remains the focus, Binder also concedes KTM has to accept the situation with the tyres and adapt to it.

“We really struggle a little bit with the softer compound but we’ve done a bit of work on the bike to help ourselves out and I think we made a small step for that,” he added.

“But the problem is we need to be very, very cautious on the front; you can’t brake super-hard and throw it in because it does just disappear on you.

“It’s a difficult situation at the moment but we’re working hard to try and adapt our bike to make it work.

“For race pace we’ve definitely found something, but we just need to try and make a step for that one-lap pace.

“We did play with the front-end a little bit. Nothing too crazy to be honest, just try to make it a bit stable for us.

“That’s about the only change we’ve made, it’s very close to what we’ve been using. It’s just more accepting what we have and trying to work with it.”

shares
comments

Related video

Marquez doesn’t know when he’ll be fully fit on MotoGP bike

Previous article

Marquez doesn’t know when he’ll be fully fit on MotoGP bike

Next article

Espargaro “needs to be patient” as Honda MotoGP speed will come

Espargaro “needs to be patient” as Honda MotoGP speed will come
Load comments
Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi Prime

Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi

With Valentino Rossi’s next career move imminent in MotoGP, it is set to have wide-reaching influences on a number of riders and teams on the grid. But one of the biggest impacts will be felt at Yamaha, with its pivotal role in the saga set to see it lose its appointment with ‘The Doctor’

MotoGP
Jun 22, 2021
How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win Prime

How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win

Marc Marquez has been through hell and back in the 581 days between his win in the 2019 Valencia season finale and his heroic MotoGP comeback victory in Germany last Sunday. Despite battling physical limitations and a difficult 2021-spec Honda, the Sachsenring provided the perfect storm for the Spaniard to return to the top step

MotoGP
Jun 21, 2021
Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward.

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Prime

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Prime

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Prime

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout.

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021