After a brilliant ride at the Aragon MotoGP where he narrowly missed out on a podium to Aleix Espargaro despite starting 10th, Binder went two places better at Motegi as he converted his first-ever premier class front row start into second place.
The KTM rider appeared to struggle during the early stages after being passed by team-mate Miguel Oliveira and Jorge Martin, however, Binder’s pace got stronger and stronger as the race went on, before overtaking Martin for P2 with one lap remaining.
“It was a fantastic weekend for myself and the team, you know we’ve been working so hard this season and we haven’t got many good results so to be standing back on the podium is an amazing feeling,” said Binder.
“It was tough out there today, at the beginning of the race I was really struggling a little bit to understand how hard I could push with the rear because it was the first time I’d done laps on the H [hard tyre].
“Clearly I understood really well following Jorge and Jack at the beginning where we were losing time and where I was strong, so I was able to do laps behind them and really figure out where I needed to improve and use my strong points to my advantage .”
The 2022 season has been another disappointing one for KTM, as the Austrian manufacturer has just the one win which came in extremely poor conditions at Mandalika.
With that at the back of his mind, Binder alluded to his Motegi podium being ‘desperately needed’, while also hoping it can serve as a momentum builder going forward.
Binder said: “As the race went on I felt like I got better and better, and I need to say a massive thank you to my team for giving me the confidence to go with the H rear considering we’d never used it.
“To walk away today with a podium is fantastic, I pushed hard and fought hard from lap one but like I said, hats off to my team.
“They fought so hard, we desperately needed this podium and this is the start of many more.”
Jack Miller on ‘another level’, says future MotoGP team-mate Binder
While Binder was one of the quickest riders at the end of Sunday’s race, the pace Miller showed out front was too hot for anyone to handle, including Binder.
The soon-to-be teammates will form one of the strongest rider pairings on the grid next season at KTM, and Binder is excited to have the Aussie join the Austrian outfit.
“Congrats to Jack, he was on another level today,” Binder stated. “When he passed me, he literally disappeared in about three or four laps. I could see he was on a roll and knowing Jack I thought he’d have the Hard tire too.
“By about Lap 10 I knew we weren’t gonna see him again. Hats off to Jack and it’s gonna be awesome having him in the team next year.”