Binder: KTM MotoGP test struggles look worse than they are

Brad Binder believes KTM’s Qatar pre-season test struggles with its new MotoGP bike “look worse on paper than in reality” ahead of the 2021 season.

Binder: KTM MotoGP test struggles look worse than they are

KTM was one of two brands allowed to start 2021 with a new engine design, but remained largely anonymous on the timesheets and through the speed traps.

Double race winner Miguel Oliveira was KTM’s top rider on combined times, but was 1.3 seconds off the pace set by Ducati's Jack Miller in 16th, while Binder was 1.5s off in 17th – with the new RC16 engine 10km/h down on the fastest Ducati in a straight line.

PLUS: What we learned from 2021 MotoGP pre-season testing 

Oliveira conceded last Thursday KTM was ‘hitting a wall’ in terms of performance, while Binder explained the layout of the Losail circuit was stopping it from utilising the strengths of the RC16.

However, the South African is also confident KTM’s struggles aren’t as bad as they seem.

“It was unfortunate for sure to lose the final day of testing [to windy conditions],” he said after the test.

“We did have quite a few things that we wanted to get through, but at the end of the day it’s not the end of the world.

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“I believe things are a lot worse on paper than they are in reality, or at least what they will be on the race weekend.

PLUS: Why Binder was destined to lead KTM in MotoGP 

“It has been a little bit challenging for us KTMs, we know this layout doesn’t suit us quite well. But nevertheless, we have good ideas and I’m sure we’re going to get much closer to the front than we are at the moment.”

Binder – who crashed on three of the four days of running - says the wasted final day of the test stopped KTM from trying "about three items" it had in the pipeline, but said he was relaxed about this as the "our test team has already tried them and they are all items that were positive".

“I think it’s quite safe to say we should try them over the race weekend, which they should work," Binder added.

“That’s one great thing. We lost today [Friday], but we also lost a lot of track time with me falling off all the time, so [I'm] a little bit disappointed with that one, but that’s life.

“For the life of me, I couldn’t stay on the first three days, but yesterday I completed a day without crashing, which was great. I only see positive from here.”

shares
comments
Miller ‘enjoying’ being tagged as MotoGP title favourite

Previous article

Miller ‘enjoying’ being tagged as MotoGP title favourite

Next article

What Marquez will we get on his much-needed MotoGP return?

What Marquez will we get on his much-needed MotoGP return?
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Brad Binder
Teams Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Author Lewis Duncan
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021