Following a 2020 MotoGP season that saw KTM take their first victories in the premier class along with multiple podiums, 2021 has been a tough start with only two top ten finishes - both by Brad Binder, across their four rides thus far. 

The main reason for this has been KTM’s struggle with the Michelin front tyre allocation so far this year. 

The strengths of the RC16 especially in the hands of Binder, has been hard braking and corner entry, but in Qatar, the softer compounds took away those strong points of the bike.

But with that said, Portimao showed signs of what the KTM is capable of as Binder made his way from 15th on the grid to claim fifth position. 

During the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend, Binder’s main objective was trying to make the front end feeling ‘more stable’ which was the only ‘change’ from the previous round. 

"We did play with the front end a little bit but nothing too crazy to be honest. We tried to make it a bit more stable for us," said Binder. 

"That’s about the only change, it is very similar to what we have been using but I think it's more about accepting what we have and how we use it."

But it remains a delicate process, as a lot of changes at once can also impact the strengths of the bike which Binder alluded to.

The South African added: "It’s difficult because we need to play around to see what we can find but at the same time keep our strong braking and entries like we always have. 

"That’s where we seem to do well compared to the others. It’s important to keep this in mind and try to accept or try to work around or another way to be a bit more gentle on the bike or something like that. Reinventing the wheel won’t work.

"The problem is that we really struggle with the softer compound, but we’ve done a bit of work on the bike to help ourselves out and we made a small step with that. 

"The problem is that you need to be very cautious on the front, you cannot just brake super-hard and throw it in because it does just disappear on you. It’s a difficult situation at the moment but we are working hard to try and adapt our bike and make everything work."