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MotoGP Argentinian GP

Binder had to convince himself MotoGP Argentina sprint-winning pace “was real”

KTM’s Brad Binder says his sprint win at the MotoGP Argentina Grand Prix was “a bit unexpected” and had to convince himself early on that his pace “was real”.

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

The South African’s prospects for the sprint were not positive when he could only go 15th fastest in the iffy conditions that dominated qualifying on Saturday morning at the Rio Hondo track.

But Binder made a blinding start in the 12-lap sprint race to jump up to fifth on the opening lap, before eventually taking the lead on the third tour.

Despite late pressure from VR46 Ducati’s Marco Bezzecchi, Binder was able to get to the chequered flag 0.072s ahead to claim his first win since the 2021 Austrian GP.

Speaking after his sprint win, Binder admitted he needed to “shake my head and make sure it was real” when he made up so much ground in the first laps.

“Yeah, it was a bit of surprised for sure, not only for me but for my team,” Binder said.

“I knew our starts were good already from Portimao, and I got a great launch off the line. I pushed really hard in the first three, four corners to make up as much time as possible.

“When I saw I was in third, fourth place I kind of had to shake my head a bit and make sure it was real.

“So, super happy with the way things went. My team completely turned my bike around today, I felt I had way more grip and was way more comfortable.

“So, I can’t thank my team enough for everything they’ve put in. Super happy to have won a race again, it’s been a while and it was a bit unexpected.”

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The winter testing period for KTM looked difficult as it continued to search for the rear grip it had been missing in 2022, but appeared to turn things around for the Portuguese GP – in which Binder finished sixth despite carrying a neck injury.

Explaining how KTM has taken a step forward since the new campaign started, Binder said: “Well, for us in the test we started to find our feet on the last day in Portimao.

“The first day [of the Portuguese GP], I couldn’t really ride the motorbike because my neck and shoulder were not really good from my crash in the test.

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“The second day wasn’t very good either, third day I felt a lot better and the guys gave me a lot more confidence on the bike; it was a lot more stable.

“I could brake later and also kept rear grip better. So, that was the biggest step that they’ve made.

“When we got here [to Argentina] on Friday it seemed we were struggling a bit, but the guys did their homework overnight and though the conditions were sketchy in the morning I noticed the bike felt way better and felt way more confident.”

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