Binder brushes off Moto3 to MotoGP critics, 'stupid' to reject lifelong dream

Darryn Binder says it would have been 'stupid' to reject dream MotoGP chance with RNF Yamaha this season, feels many of his critics 'jumped on the bandwagon' after Portimao mistake.

It's only been done once before, by Jack Miller in 2015, but Darryn Binder didn't hesitate when given the chance to jump straight from Moto3 to MotoGP # with the RNF Yamaha team.

"I was so excited I definitely didn't ask why me! I just said 'Thank you! I'm ready! Take me!' Binder said.

"For me it's a dream come true. Everybody wants to race in MotoGP one day so to get given opportunity like this, you can't refuse it.

"It's the greatest opportunity I've ever had in my life, so I grabbed it with both hands."

The South African, 24, spent a lengthy seven seasons in the junior class, claiming one win and six podiums.

He received the MotoGP chance after impressing Razlan Razali by fighting through the field on an underpowered Honda at Petronas SRT last season. But the move was not without controversy, with many questioning if Binder should be skipping the Moto2 class.

"Obviously, there were mixed feelings and lots of different comments and stuff, but I would be stupid not to accept my life's dream. I've worked towards this my whole life and if somebody gives you this opportunity you take it and make the most of it," Binder said.

"So I'm super happy to be going up to MotoGP. Obviously, there's some people that say otherwise or whatever. I really don’t care. I don’t have any mental coach. I definitely don’t need one! I'm a perfectly happy person. I don’t entertain bullshit.

"So I carry on like normal. I'm approaching this season like I'd approach any season. At the end of the day it's still a motorbike, it's got two wheels and I'll go ride it."

The debate over Binder's MotoGP ride heightened when he collided with Moto3 title contender Dennis Foggia at Portimao, ending the Italian's championship chances at the penultimate round.

"I want to leave all the bad things behind and move forward on a clean slate but that's obviously difficult. I tried to do that last year and unfortunately at the end of the year I made a mistake and everybody just jumped back on the same bandwagon," Binder said.

"I'm just going to go in, do my best and try to keep my nose clean and stay out of trouble. I hope that I can have good races and good battles with all of the guys and whether they like me or not doesn't change anything for me!

"At the end of the day it's every man for himself out there. I'll talk to anyone that wants to speak to me, I'm not a fussy person, I'm welcoming to have a conversation."

In the aftermath of Portimao, Miller was one of those that stood up for Binder, saying everyone has made that kind of mistake.

However, some other MotoGP riders indicated they would back the introduction of a super licence, to effectively prevent moving straight to MotoGP without competing in Moto2.

"I feel like last year things got blown out of proportion a little bit more than it was like because you would read things and I'd feel like they'd been worded a little bit differently maybe to what people had originally said.

"Because there were a lot of people that I'd spoken to that didn't come across the way that it came across in the media. I know everyone's got different opinions and stuff so it really doesn't bother me and I'm just going to go out there and do my job at the end of the today."

Binder didn't plan on missing out Moto2, but with SRT suddenly forced to close due to the loss of Petronas he found himself facing an uncertain future, until Razali (with the green light from Yamaha) offered the South African a seat at his new RNF MotoGP team.

"The original plan was to come into Moto3 with Petronas and try and go all the way. That was the main goal. Do good in Moto3, go to Moto2 and if I did well, go to MotoGP," Binder said.

"Unfortunately, last year everything changed. I think working with everyone [at SRT] last year they really believed in me and that's why they gave me this opportunity. I need to take it with both hands, make the most of it and hopefully prove they were right in choosing me.

"It's definitely a big risk to jump straight to MotoGP. It's not always about how fast you can get to MotoGP it's about how long you can stay there. It's the pinnacle of the sport, you want to get there and stay there for as long as possible. It is a big risk but at the same time I could never reject this offer.

"It's been my dream my whole life to ride a MotoGP bike. It's a lot of people's dreams and a lot of people that don’t ever get to live that dream. So I'm going to go there and give my absolute all."

Binder's RNF crew chief will be Noe Herrera, who helped Raul Fernandez to Moto2 title runner-up at Red Bull KTM Ajo last season.

Fernandez's career path, alongside that of triple MotoGP race winner Jack Miller, nine time winner Maverick Vinales and 2020 world champion Joan Mir, is also a source for inspiration to Binder.

"Jack jumped straight to MotoGP and made it work. Yes it took quite long but there were very different circumstances for him. There's also been riders that have gone through Moto2 in one year and jumped to MotoGP and been good," Binder said.

"It also gives me confidence when I look at Raul Fernandez, yes he was very strong at the end of Moto3 but up until then he hadn't done anything crazy. But then he jumped to Moto2 and did amazing things.

"I've always felt I suited a bigger bike better and that I struggled in Moto3 with my weight and size a little bit, so I feel I suit a bigger bike better, should be more comfortable.

"I've literally got everything I could ask for in a motorcycle, I've got all the tools, I just need to learn how to use them in the correct way. I believe that I can do that and I’ll be able to go fast."

Darryn, younger brother of KTM MotoGP race winner Brad Binder, was bottom of the timesheets on his MotoGP debut at last November's Jerez test, but a respectable 3s from the top and 1.5s from top rookie Fabio di Giannantonio (Gresini Ducati).

His next outing will be the Sepang Shakedown test, from January 31-February 2, followed by the Official test on February 5-6.

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