Binder went from “completely lost” to knowing what to fix
KTM’s Brad Binder says he has “no rush” to try and win more MotoGP races following his Czech Grand Prix triumph, after a tough first day at the Austrian GP.
The South African became MotoGP’s latest winner last time at Brno, when he guided the RC16 to his and KTM’s maiden premier class victory.
With KTM having tested at Red Bull Ring in June – having done so last month at Brno – Pol Espargaro hit the ground running on Friday in Austria, topping FP1 and the day overall after FP2 was interrupted by rain. Binder was around eight tenths off the pace down in 16th, but expected the day to be harder having never ridden Red Bull Ring on a MotoGP bike.
When asked by Motorsport.com if knowing he is capable of race wins makes it easier for him to have slower starts to a weekend, Binder said: “It does and it doesn’t, in a way. Once you have one [win], you want many more.
“But the great thing is I have no rush really. I knew today was going to be tough. I’m sure if I had the FP2 session it would have been a different story because I didn’t really do a good lap this morning. And the 0.8 seconds that I’m off, I lose 0.5s in one sector, and 0.7s to [Andrea] Dovizioso (who was second fastest on Friday) in that sector.
“If I just fix that, I’m in the mix straight away. So, I’m quite happy. Today was quite cool. It’s strange, because you have to brake deep, you don’t really prepare the exit [of the corner] as much as you do on a Moto2 bike. I expected the opposite.”
Elaborating on the difficulties of this track, Binder – who won the Moto2 race for KTM last year in Austria – says it’s “a lot more complicated” than it appears and was “completely lost” early in FP1.
“This track is definitely a lot more complicated than it looks on paper,” he added. “If you look at it, there’s not really too much to it, not too many corners. To go fast here is a huge challenge, especially on a MotoGP bike.
“The braking zones are super long. To try and keep the wheelie down, it’s quite hectic too. So, there’s a whole lot of things to try to work on, and unfortunately today we lost out on a load of track time in FP2. But FP1 at the end I started to find my bearings a little bit.
“So, at the beginning from being completely lost to that was quite a good step.”
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