/News24.com | ‘I pushed from beginning to end’
News24.com | ‘I pushed from beginning to end’

News24.com | ‘I pushed from beginning to end’

Brad Binder of South Africa and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing at parc ferme during the MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar at Losail Circuit on March 06, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.

Brad Binder of South Africa and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing at parc ferme during the MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar at Losail Circuit on March 06, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.

Photo by Steve Wobser/Getty Images

 • The 2022 MotoGP season kicked off in Qatar on Sunday. 
 • South Africa’s Brad Binder finished second, securing the best result for the KTM team at Qatar.
 • Younger brother Darryn Binder finished his first MotoGP race in 16th place.


The 2022 MotoGP season kicked off at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar on Sunday (6 March), and South African Brad Binder delivered an excellent performance to claim second position. Now, the local hero is looking to bag a few more podiums this season.

Binder qualified 7th on Saturday afternoon, which is one of his best qualifying performances in his MotoGP career to date.

Binder took advantage of his third-row start and worked his way up to third position in the first few corners. Binder subsequently took second place from Marc Marquez on lap six.

READ | SA’s Brad Binder starts 2022 MotoGP season with a stellar performance, takes 2nd place

Binder remained unchallenged in second place behind Pol Espargaro on the Repsol Honda until lap 14 when Ducati rider Enea Bastianini overtook him. 

DOHA, QATAR - MARCH 04: Brad Binder of South Afric

Brad Binder of South Africa and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rides during the MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar at Losail Circuit on March 04, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.

Race leader Pol Espargaro ran wide while battling with Enea Bastianini, handing second place to Brad Binder with four laps to go. Binder managed to keep Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez at bay to cross the line in second position.

Binder was one of the only front runners to race on the medium front and medium rear tyre. This allowed him to maintain his consistent pace and actually gain on the eventual race winner in the closing stages. 

After the race, the ecstatic KTM rider said: “It was a great day; actually, all weekend was great. To top the timesheets in FP1 on Friday was a bit of a shock. So I knew we were at a really good level. That being said, we had some issues over the weekend, but honestly, I felt so good and had so much confidence in the bike from beginning to end.”

The Qatar circuit has been a challenging location for Binder’s KTM outfit, and this result is the first top-six finish for any KTM at this circuit.

“I just need to say a massive thank you to KTM, they pulled this one out of the bag, and we have made such a huge step forward from where we finished last year; for us to be on the podium in Qatar is insane. This race last year was honestly the hardest race of the year, so I am really, really happy with the way things went. I am certainly looking forward to a few more podiums this year,” added Binder.

Binder’s Red Bull KTM team spent the winter refining their package, concentrating on improving rear grip out of the corners, and the changes have clearly paid dividends.

The local MotoGP hero has traditionally been a better racer than a qualifier. Performing well in qualifying is an aspect that Binder has been working hard on improving, and it has paid off. This weekend, a good qualifying position really allowed him to fight it out with the top contenders from the first lap, which was most undoubtedly pivotal in him eventually finishing on the podium.

Younger brother Darryn Binder qualified 24th in his first MotoGP appearance after a crash in qualifying and managed to improve his position to 16th by the end of the 22-lap race.

The MotoGP circus travels to Indonesia next, with the second race scheduled for the Mandalika circuit on 20 March.

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