The South African became the latest MotoGP winner in Brno when he led the RC16 to his and KTM’s first victory in the premier class.
After KTM tested at the Red Bull Ring in June – after it did in Brno last month – Pol Espargaro ran through Austria on Friday and led FP1, and the day after FP2 was interrupted by rain. Binder was about eight tenths behind the pace in 16th, but expected the day to be tougher as he had never ridden a MotoGP motorcycle at the Red Bull Ring.
When asked by Motorsport.com whether knowing that he is capable of race wins makes it easier for him to start a weekend slower, Binder said, “In a way it does and it doesn’t. As soon as you have one [win], you want a lot more.
“But the great thing is, I’m in no hurry. I knew it was going to be tough today. I’m sure if I’d had the FP2 session it would have been a different story because I didn’t do a really good lap this morning. And in the 0.8 seconds that I have free, I lose 0.5 seconds in a sector and 0.7 seconds up [Andrea] Dovizioso (who was second fastest on Friday) in this sector.
“If I just fix that, I’ll be in the mix right away. So, I’m pretty happy. Today was pretty cool. Strange, you have to brake deeply, you don’t really prepare to exit [of the corner] as much as on a Moto2 bike. I expected the opposite. “
Binder – who won the Moto2 race for KTM in Austria last year – goes into the difficulties of this track and says that it is “much more complicated” than it seems and was “completely lost” at the beginning of FP1.
“This route is definitely a lot more complicated than it looks on paper,” he added. “When you look at it, it’s not really too much, not too many corners. Riding fast here is a big challenge, especially on a MotoGP bike.
“The braking zones are super long. Trying to keep the wheelie down is pretty hectic too. So there are a lot of things to try to work on and unfortunately we lost a lot of track time today in FP2. But in the end I found my way around in FP1 a little.
“Well, in the beginning it was a very good step to have completely lost yourself.”