Red Bull KTM man has not given up on the thought of reeling in high-flying Pecco Bagnaia.
After playing bridesmaid to world Francesco Bagnaia at the Austrian MotoGP, Brad Binder is confident the top step of the podium is within his grasp this weekend in Spain.
The Red Bull KTM rider finished runner-up to title race leader Bagnaia in both the sprint and main race at his team’s home race at the Red Bull Ring. Binder has now finished fourth, third and second respectively in the last three main races. The only thing eluding the KTM man this season is winning a MotoGP main race.
“Thank you bosses for trusting in me for the next few seasons. I hope to bring you guys to the top step very soon,” Binder told the KTM team in the pit garage after the main race in Austria.
Brad Binder chases victory
The weekend was a memorable one for Binder for more reasons than just the two podium finishes. He also qualified third, matching his best MotoGP grid position, and signed a contract extension until 2026.
A win for Binder is long overdue. His last MotoGP main race victory – and second overall – came in 2021, all of 37 races ago. Since then, he has stood on the podium six times, five of which were second places.
His record in the sprint races, that was introduced this year, is even better. Of the first 10 sprint races, he has won two and finished runner-up twice.
While Binder does not have the best track record in Catalunya, he is confident that KTM can build on their recent success. In three MotoGP main races at the 4.66 km circuit, he has finished eighth twice to go with an 11th place.
Banking on confidence
“I’m coming in with a bit of confidence,” Binder said during this week’s official pre-race press conference.
“We have been better by almost a second better at every track this season and we hope to further build on that here.”
Interestingly enough, the high-flying Bagnaia himself doesn’t boast a great MotoGP record at Catalunya. The Ducati man’s best premier class finish at the track is sixth.
Binder was also asked if he can still realistically reel in Bagnaia this season. The world champion has 261 points, followed by Jorge Martin (189), Marco Bezzecchi (183) and Binder (160).
Never say never
Last season 2021 champion Fabio Quartararo was also enjoyed a comfortable lead before surrendering to Bagnaia.
“If it’s been done before, let’s try again,” Binder said is reference to Bagnaia overturning Quartararo’s lead.
“Pecco [Bagnaia] has been in incredible form this season. And over the last few races super good.
“We are here and ready to give out best. If it’s good enough, fantastic. If not, we try again.”
The Catalan MotoGP sprint race start at 3pm on Saturday and the main race at 2pm on Sunday.