Despite Valentino Rossi's retirement there will still be three pairs of brothers racing in MotoGP this season, with Darryn Binder stepping up to the premier-class alongside KTM race winner Brad.

Darryn's Moto3-to-MotoGP leap means the Binders join the Espargaro and Marquez brothers on the grid from the opening round in Qatar.

While it won't be a completely new experience for the Binders, having both raced in the Moto3 class during 2015 and 2016, Darryn - making his premier-class debut with RNF Yamaha this season - hopes to eventually challenge for 'top Binder' bragging rights this time around.

"It's going to be really incredible to line-up against my brother," Darryn said. "We raced together a little bit back in South Africa when we were younger and then obviously we spent two years together in Moto3.

"But in Moto3 I was very new to Moto3, had a lot to learn, and he was there at his prime. He won the world championship in 2016. The closest I ever came to racing near him was when he won - and got away from the field - and I finished fourth.

"So we haven't really had a good dogfight, so I'd love to be able to get to his level and fight with him on track. I think it'd be something special."

Indeed, if given the choice of beating either his team-mate (Andrea Dovizioso) or his brother, Darryn made his preference clear:

"The first one [to beat] is definitely my brother! At the end of the day it's bragging rights. We live together so on the way home if I beat him then at least on the way home I can brag and say 'I beat you!'

"But one step at a time, let’s get the first race underway, but that's definitely a goal."

Before being in a position to challenge either Brad or Dovizioso, the 24-year-old knows he must first try and learn as much as possible from them.

"If I'm looking for really good information on set-up and things regarding MotoGP, I think the best person to speak to would definitely be Andrea because he's in the same team as me and on the same bike so he has a lot of experience," Darryn said.

"Obviously my brother's also there and I can speak to him, but regarding settings he's on a completely different machine.

"It's nice to be able to speak to my brother about MotoGP in general, be careful with the tyre, tyre life and this and that. And he's found that maybe this or that works for him.

"But I think from my side it'd be much better to speak to Andrea as he's in the same box as me and our machines are quite similar. So I look forward to sharing the box with someone with so much experience and I hope I can learn a lot from him."

Dovizioso, who at 35 is now the oldest rider on the grid, said he'd be happy to help:

"I'm open to speak if Darryn wants to understand something. I'm relaxed about that and I think he has his speed. I think he has the possibility to show his speed and I'm there if he needs some help and I can help him I'm happy."

While Dovizioso is preparing for this 14th MotoGP season, Binder will be starting only his second MotoGP test, at Sepang, on January 31.