Binder ‘would love’ first MotoGP pole but ‘the race is more important’

Brad Binder is hoping to contend for pole position at the Australian MotoGP after topping Friday practice.
Brad Binder, KTM MotoGP Phillip Island 2023
Brad Binder, KTM MotoGP Phillip Island 2023

A stunning lap time of 1:27.943s was enough to see Binder become the only MotoGP rider to go beneath the 1m 28s barrier, as he topped the all-important Practice 2 ahead of team-mate Jack Miller.

KTM were strong throughout the afternoon session as Pol Espargaro also finished inside the top five for the GASGAS Tech 3 team.

Leading the way at both the start and end of Practice 2, Binder told “Yeah it was all good. We did two runs today on the new tyres at the end. 

“On the first run I didn’t quite put it all together but on the second run I had a good send on the first lap but after that I didn’t quite manage to finish the lap. 

“Anyway, the bike is feeling great and is working well. The most important thing is that we’re through to Q2 again. Let’s try and have a positive qualifying tomorrow and then a good race.”

Phillip Island proved to be a difficult venue for KTM last season, but with the RC16 showing more performance in 2023 than ever before, Binder is aiming to continue his Friday from. 

“Coming here last year we struggled all weekend,” admitted the South African. “It wasn’t easy. 

“The starting point of our bike this season has been much better and from the first lap it has been much better than last season. 

“I’m just really happy to go out on track and feel strong from the beginning.”

A stat that is hard to believe, but one that is true nonetheless, is that Binder has never claimed pole position in MotoGP.

But given his form on day-one the KTM rider is one of the clear favourites to take top spot come Saturday’s Q2 session, although producing in the race remains his main aim. 

Binder added: “I would love to get on the front row and a pole would be great. But the most important thing is the race.”

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