Brad Binder (KTM): «We will have a good year» / MotoGP

Red Bull KTM factory rider Brad Binder opened up about the changes to his RC16 and new teammate Jack Miller after Tuesday’s test in Valencia.

With the updated chassis, Brad Binder finished second at the Valencia GP at the weekend. During a one-day test before the winter break on Tuesday, he again caught the eye of the RC16 frame. “It’s not the chassis I used on the weekend, it’s a newer version,” Brad clarified.

“I had a lot of problems with my ancestor over the weekend. Stopping and turning wasn’t great,” wrote the 27-year-old South African. “These areas are super good with this bike. It feels much easier to ride a bike. You get it where you want it better and cornering is better. But I have a bit of a problem getting out of corners. So we need a combination.”

Also new for the RC16 was the aerodynamic package with a side notch on the fairing, which was first seen on the Aprilia RS-GP in the 2022 season. According to Aleix Espargaró, this configuration was particularly noticeable in fast corners.

Is this also the case for the Red Bull KTM factory rider? “It is hard to say. Because when we changed the aero stuff, we changed not only that, but the whole package,” Binder emphasized. “But the package looked good to me, I liked it. It was very windy at the time. I felt it was better in the wind.’

Detailed analysis is now in the hands of KTM engineers. “Everything was different – the disguise, the wings… So it’s hard to say what was responsible for what. The engineers’ task now is to optimize everything and bring an even better package to Sepang.”

The engine was also further developed. “The new bike is a whole combination,” confirmed Binder. “The character of the engine is very similar. I don’t know the difference, they didn’t tell me anything. I’ll get on the bike, ride it and tell them what I think.’

Will the Austrians bring an evolution of this bike to the Sepang test in February or is Binder expecting big changes on his RC16? “The things we’ve changed aren’t huge,” he said recently. “It’s the little things that really solve our problems. That’s kind of like KTM’s new philosophy. If it’s not broken, don’t touch it. I believe they will do things that will speed us up. I don’t know if it will be minor or major changes. We’ll see that in Sepang.”

At the Valencia test, Binder shared the Red Bull KTM pit for the first time with his new teammate Jack Miller. “It was great to hear his first impressions. He obviously felt pretty good right away. I think we’re going to have a good year next year.”

As the Australian has a contract with Ducati until the end of the year, he is not yet allowed to comment publicly on KTM. What did he say in the interview with Brad? “To be honest, we had so much work today that I didn’t get to talk to him until after the first run. He said he felt pretty good,” said the South African. “I have heard some comments from my team – we are already working on some points. I don’t think he would be too unhappy though. Our bike is not bad at all. We still have a few things to do, but we’ll see.’

Valencia-Test, MotoGP (November 8):

1. Marini, Ducati, 1:30.032 min
2. Vinales, Aprilia, +0.225 sec
3. Bezzecchi, Ducati, +0.230
4. Oliveira, Aprilia, + 0.335
5. Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia, +0.366
6. Di Giannantonio, Ducati, +0.451
7. Brad Binder, KTM, +0.464
8. Martin, Ducati, +0.544
9. Quartararo, Yamaha, +0.546
10. Bastianini, Ducati, +0.560
11. Zarco, Ducati, +0.594
12. Bagnaia, Ducati, + 0.623
13. Marc Marquez, Honda, +0.644
14. Morbidelli, Yamaha, +0.659
15. Alex Marquez, Ducati, +0.680
16. Pol Espargaro, GASGAS, +0.725
17. Miller, KTM, +0.755
18. Mir, Honda, +0.882
19. Nakagami, Honda, +1,049
20. Kidney, Honda, +1,196
21. Raul Fernandez, Aprilia, +1,308
22. Augusto Fernández, GASGAS, + 1,698
23. Pirro, Ducati, + 2,773

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