The South African, a race winner in both his previous MotoGP seasons, began the test using his 2022 race bike before switching to the updated RC16 - featuring revised chassis, engine and electronics - as well as trying a new aero package.

Binder, who matched last year’s sixth in the final world championship standings, set the seventh fastest lap at the test, 0.464s behind VR46 Ducati’s Luca Marini.

“Today was cool, the guys had a ton of things for us to try,” Binder said. “We tried our new bike, pretty much, and a bit of a different aero package.

“We didn't do a huge amount of laps, but we did more quality runs. So happy with everything that we have achieved and we have given the guys a lot more information to go home and change things up before we get to Sepang [in February].”

Who IMPRESSED and who was FUMING at Valencia Test? | MotoGP 2022

Binder had already been using a revised frame during the race weekend, but revealed the chassis used at the test was substantially different in terms of character.

“Well it's not the frame I used for the race weekend, it's a newer version,” he said.

“On the weekend I struggled a lot with the front end, stopping and entry weren't great. This [new] bike stopped well and entry is super good, but I was struggling a bit on the gas. So we need a combo.”

But overall, Binder felt the newer frame was a step forward.

“I think from the feeling point of view it's a much easier bike to ride,” he said. “And it's a lot easier to put it where you want and it turns better. It's just we need to get it to hook up on the exit now.

“For me, the rear was really snappy going into the corners [this year]. I'd start tipping and it’d just let go on me all the time. Then on the first crack of the gas, it would let go. That's been my main complaints [this season].”

Binder also confirmed the engine had been revised, but said he’s kept in the dark as far as the details!

“The new bike is a full combo. The [engine] character is very similar… I actually don't know the difference! I ride it and tell them what I think. I don't know what's what!

“I think they get more unfiltered information [that way], so it's probably better in the long run.”

One development that was obvious to spot was the revised aerodynamics.

“I quite liked that. It felt quite nice. They need to still tweak it a little bit, but the initial impression was pretty good,” said Binder. “When it was really windy at one stage, I felt it was better. I felt like I had a bit more front contact.”

“It was a full package so different top fairing, wings... So what [part] was doing what, I’m not sure. Anyway, that's [KTM’s] job. They’ve got to go and optimise everything now and bring us an even better one in Sepang.”

KTM’s new philosophy

While KTM celebrated two wet weather wins this season courtesy of former team-mate Miguel Oliveira, Binder’s runner-up finishes in Qatar, Motegi and Valencia were their best dry results as the factory finished fourth in the constructors’ standings.

“The things that we've changed [on the new bike] aren't huge. They’re small things that really touch our problems. I think that’s KTM’s new philosophy a little bit. That if it's not broken, you don't fix it.

“So I think they really will do things that can make us faster, and whether that be big changes or small changes, I don't know. But I'll see in Sepang.”

Binder on Jack Miller’s arrival: ‘I think we’re going to have a good year’

The Valencia test also marked the KTM MotoGP debut for Binder’s 2023 team-mate Jack Miller, who is switching to the RC16 after five years at Ducati.

“We've been super busy today, so I only got to chat him after the first run. He said all felt quite good,” Binder said.

“I've heard a couple of comments from my team that are similar to what we've been feeling all year, or what we know are some points of our bike we need work on.

“But I don't think he was too unhappy by any means, I think our bike’s not bad at all. We've got some work to do, but let’s see.

“It was cool to get his first impressions, to see what he thought of it and all of that. And I mean, clearly he did pretty good straightaway on it. So I think we’re going to have a good year next year.”

Miller set the 17th fastest lap time but was within 0.4s of Binder’s best lap.

Red Bull KTM Technical Manager Sebastian Risse said: “We did the first laps with Jack and he was quite happy with the bike and with the first adaptions and changes we did.”

 

Binder had already been using a revised frame during the Valencia race weekend but revealed the chassis used at the test was different again.

“Well it's not the frame I used for the race weekend, it's a newer version,” he said.

“On the weekend I struggled a lot with the front end, stopping and entry weren't great. This [new] bike stopped well and entry is super good, but I was struggling a bit on the gas. So we need a combo.”

But overall, Binder felt the test frame was a step forward.

“I think from the feeling point of view it's a much easier bike to ride,” he said. “And it's a lot easier to put it where you want and it turns better. It's just we need to get it to hook up on the exit now.

“For me, the rear was really snappy going into the corners [this year]. I'd start tipping and it’d just let go on me all the time. Then on the first crack of the gas, it would let go. That's been my main complaints [this season].”

Binder also confirmed the engine had been revised but said he’s kept in the dark as far as the details.

“The new bike is a full combo [of new parts]. The [engine] character is very similar… I actually don't know the difference! I ride it and tell them what I think.

"I don't know what's what! I think they get more unfiltered information [that way].”

One development that was obvious to spot was the revised aerodynamics.

“I quite liked that. It felt quite nice. They need to still tweak it a little bit, but the initial impression was pretty good,” said Binder. “When it was really windy at one stage, I felt it was better. I felt like I had a bit more front contact.”

“It was a full package so different top fairing, wings... So what [part] was doing what, I’m not sure. Anyway, that's [KTM’s] job. They’ve got to go and optimise everything now and bring us an even better one in Sepang.”

KTM’s new philosophy

While KTM celebrated two wet weather wins this season courtesy of former team-mate Miguel Oliveira, Binder’s runner-up finishes in Qatar, Motegi and Valencia were their best dry results as the factory finished fourth in the constructors’ standings.

“The things that we've changed [on the new bike] aren't huge. They’re small things that really touch our problems. I think that’s KTM’s new philosophy a little bit. That if it's not broken, you don't fix it," Binder said.

“So I think they really will do things that can make us faster, and whether that be big changes or small changes, I don't know. But I'll see in Sepang.”

Binder on Jack Miller: ‘I think we’re going to have a good year’

The Valencia test also marked the KTM MotoGP debut for Binder’s 2023 team-mate Jack Miller, who is switching to the RC16 after five years at Ducati.

“We've been super busy today, so I only got to chat with him after the first run. He said all felt quite good,” Binder said.

“I've heard a couple of [his] comments from my team that are similar to what we've been feeling all year, or what we know are some points of our bike we need work on.

“But I don't think he was too unhappy by any means. I think our bike’s not bad at all.

“It was cool to get his first impressions, to see what he thought of it and all of that. And I mean, clearly he did pretty good straightaway on it.

"So I think we’re going to have a good year next year.”

Miller set the 17th fastest lap time but was within 0.4s of Binder’s best lap.

Red Bull KTM Technical Manager Sebastian Risse said: “We did the first laps with Jack and he was quite happy with the bike and with the first adaptions and changes we did.”