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MotoGP Austrian GP

Binder “wasn’t looking great” to finish MotoGP Austrian GP pre-race

Brad Binder admits “it wasn’t looking great” for him to be able to get to the end of the 28-lap MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix prior to the race.

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

The KTM rider celebrated a brace of second-place finishes at the team’s home round at the Red Bull Ring last weekend, after following Francesco Bagnaia home in both the sprint and the grand prix.

Binder ran Bagnaia close in the early stages of both contests but was quickly dropped by the Ducati rider, with the South African over five seconds adrift at the chequered flag on Sunday.

The KTM rider struggled for drive grip out of the corners compared to the Ducati and was having to push hard on the front end to make up the difference.

But he later admitted even getting to the finish on his medium rear tyre was looking like a tall order prior to the Sunday race.

“Today was a carbon copy of the sprint race,” he said on Sunday.

“On the same lap, at the same corner, I realised I was not going forward and I could just see that little bit of creeping start [from Bagnaia].

“When I’d lose everything on that drive [out of the corners], I’d try to make it up on the brakes, and I just had these huge locks.

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“I got to the point where I lost the front three times in one lap and I said ‘hey, be clever here because you’re not going to finish’.

“I had to really calm myself down a bit, except where we were losing time and not make it up in places where it was not really possible.

“So, I had to try to be clever, try and make the rear tyre go to the end because we knew coming into this main race that would be the challenge.

“So, thank you to my team, they did an amazing job to get me to the end because it wasn’t looking great last night. And they made it happen for me.”

Binder added that he realised Bagnaia was doing better on tyre conservation than him after only a handful of laps in the grand prix, stating: “My guys did a great job to give me much more braking performance from [Saturday] to [Sunday], and we were working till late last night [Saturday] trying to put all of the small details together.

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“I tried my best to give everything I had at Pecco at the beginning, but by lap five, six I started to realise that, jeez, he’s really looking after his rear tyre and I might run into a bit of bother later in the race.

“When things dropped I managed to more or less hold it to the end, so quite happy about that."

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