Brad Binder believes KTM still has a lot more room for improvement despite making a competitive start to Mandalika MotoGP testing.
The South African, who was left disappointed by the level of performance shown at Sepang after finishing P18, managed to put his 2022 KTM RC16 in third place behind Pol and Aleix Espargaro.
While Binder was close to half a second off Pol’s quickest time, the Repsol Honda rider was over four tenths clear of anyone after heavy rain and dust largely affected MotoGP’s first visit to the new Indonesian circuit.
After struggling with the set-up of his KTM machine at Sepang last weekend, changes made for this weekend have yielded more ‘corner speed’ according to Binder, while also believing that a lot more potential is still to come.
"In Sepang we tried more parts kind-of-thing, then once we found them they worked a bit better," said Binder. "We never got a chance to explore the setting; which is quite different to last year.
"We left Sepang knowing what we needed to change and they seemed to work from the start here, which was good.
"I can carry more corner speed on the fast stuff. Happy for that improvement today. We still have a lot of potential there."
Although Binder’s team-mate Miguel Oliveira was much further down the leaderboard, P16 to be exact, the Portuguese rider also felt competitive ahead of day-two which should provide drastic lap time improvements.
Oliveira added: "I think we have a bike that is competitive here but it’s still very early because there are two days left and we don’t know how far we are off the limit.
"I think everyone finished the day knowing that they can go much faster. I believe the bike is going to be fast here. I’m optimistic.
"The package this season is nice. We still have to understand how to get the maximum here…but that’s the same for everyone."