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Binder “had my bike back” in Jerez MotoGP practice breakthrough

KTM’s Brad Binder says he “had my bike back” after making a breakthrough with set-up on Friday at the MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix.

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The South African made a strong start to the season in Qatar with a brace of podiums in the sprint and grand prix but hasn’t made it to the rostrum since.

In America, various set-up changes backfired on him and he failed to make it out of Q1 while only managing a rise to ninth in the grand prix.

Though a crash late in second practice on Friday at Jerez saw him slip into Q1, Binder says tweaks to the front end of his RC16 have completely transformed his feeling on the bike.

“All day today has been really good,” he said. “We changed something on the front end of the bike in the morning for the second run and it felt like I had my bike back.

“I had the confidence again with the front end in braking and entry. That was awesome. I was really fast the whole afternoon, I felt really good.

“I was giving it a push to make sure I had a strong lap and unfortunately I washed the front.

“I just got caught out by the wind coming in hotter than the previous lap and clearly too much. Bit unlucky because of that.”

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Asked what the changes were, he said: “I don’t know exactly but something with the front fork. It just made me a lot more comfortable.”

He added: “To be honest, the best day I’ve had all year apart from the last run.

“It’s the first time I’ve felt this good in a long time and it’s unfortunate that I bailed because it cost us a spot in Q2.

“But my ideal lap time just from those first two sectors alone was 0.5s quicker than the lap time I did. So, I think we will be ok.”

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Binder suffered a small foot injury in a training incident prior to the Americas GP and admits he was “lucky” to walk away unscathed from his crash at the end of second practice at Jerez.

“I’m really lucky,” he said. “When I crashed there [Turn 7] I slid for a long time and slid pretty square, and then I had a few roly-polies when I had already slowed down.

“Yeah, when I stood up I was more lucky than I could have been.”

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