Binder: Moto3 corner speed suits Yamaha, 'just racing' with Remy

'I just gave it my all' - Darryn Binder takes inspiration from past Moto3 races to rise from last on the grid and battle for top MotoGP rookie honours in Qatar. Believes Moto3 corner-speed style 'definitely helps' on the Yamaha.
Darryn Binder, Qatar MotoGP race, 6 March 2022
Darryn Binder, Qatar MotoGP race, 6 March 2022
© Gold and Goose

'The rookie of the rookies' was how RNF Yamaha team boss Razlan Razali had described Darryn Binder heading into his MotoGP debut in Qatar.

The first rider since Jack Miller in 2015 to leap straight from Moto3 to MotoGP, Binder lined up 24th and last for his debut premier-class race.

But the South African then produced the kind of charge seen in his Moto3 days, tussling with fellow rookies Remy Gardner, Fabio di Giannantonio and Raul Fernandez for 15th and the final world championship point.

Only Gardner was able to get the upper hand over Binder, by just 0.012s in a photo-finish.

"In Moto3 it's never over until the race," Binder said. "Like I showed a lot of times, even if I qualified badly I would always give it my all in the race to try and be there. I had a difficult weekend and then in the race I just gave it my all. I definitely feel I kind of brought that with me."

Gardner was critical of some of Binder's moves after the race, saying he was "riding like a Moto3 rider, all over shop, coming back onto line without looking and going wide. It was a bit if a disaster to get by him and unfortunately I lost that group [ahead] and got stuck in that last group.

"Hopefully I can catch-up with him [Binder] and have a chat. These aren’t Moto3 bikes and it’s not like we’re fighting for first place here! We’re fighting for last! We don’t have to be riding like complete monkeys out there, we can have a bit more respect for each other. It’s [also] normal: it’s his first MotoGP race and he’s jumped from Moto3."

The comments came as something of a surprise for Binder.

"I don’t know exactly what he's unhappy about. I mean, me and Remy battled in the race, we passed each other a load of times and especially the last lap I gave it a good go," Binder said.

"It's the first race of the year, sure we are only fighting for 15th, but at the end of the day I wanted to be the first rookie and score a point. I didn't ride into him or anything. So I don’t know.

"I'll have to hear what he had to say, I don’t understand what he means. From my side it was just a race, I was racing!"

'Riding like a Moto3 rider' is also something that Binder feels could be working to his advantage in terms of corner speed on the M1.

Although he has much to learn about the (A-Spec) Yamaha, especially in terms of the electronics, the 24-year-old still managed to set an eye-catching fastest lap just 1.2s behind race winner Enea Bastianini and a fraction from team-mate Andrea Dovizioso on the factory spec M1.

"One thing I suppose you could say, moving from Moto3 to at least the Yamaha, is keeping a bit of corner speed definitely helps," Binder said. "It's what suits this bike and coming from Moto3 you're used to that at least. So that benefitted me for sure.

"But MotoGP's a different world. There's so much power, so much electronics and different things, apart from just setting up the bike how you like there's so any other things that can affect the way the bike handles and stuff.

"Overall the bike feels really good. I'm reasonably happy with the way the bike handles, with the speed I'm at. Right now the biggest thing to understand is the electronics, the power and traction control.

"Because that to me affects the bike a lot more than just harder springs or more preload, less preload. I think I'm starting to find the way that I like the electronics to work a bit, what I need here and there.

"I'm hoping in Mandalika I can make a little bit of a step forward like here in the race, where I learnt a lot.

"I got some passes in so that gave me a bit of confidence because throughout the tests I've been passed a million times and never really had the opportunity to pass someone!

"I feel like the passes that I made were all clean."

Jack Miller fell with just a lap to go while battling fellow Open class Honda riders Eugene Laverty and Karel Abraham for 18th place on his MotoGP debut at the same Lusail circuit, in 2015. 

Now a triple MotoGP race winner, Miller was forced out of last Sunday's race due to technical problems on his factory Ducati.

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