Binder still looking for better 'drive and rear grip' despite 'good progress'

Brad Binder 'confident we’re in a better place than 2021' following a solid Mandalika MotoGP test. Still looking for 'better drive and rear grip' ahead of Qatar.
Brad Binder, MotoGP, Indonesian MotoGP test 12 February 2022
Brad Binder, MotoGP, Indonesian MotoGP test 12 February 2022
© Gold and Goose

Despite wanting better drive out of the corner and rear grip, two-time MotoGP race winner Brad Binder believes KTM is in a much better place than this time last year.

The South African, who finished the Mandalika MotoGP test in ninth, made considerable steps forward compared to seven days ago in Sepang, especially as it relates to the set-up of his RC16 machine. 

While the improvements in Mandalika could also stem from the bike suiting the Indonesian track more than Sepang, Binder feels the development of this year’s bike has been better compared to last season.

Binder added: "So far so good. The bike is working better and I’m working better. We have found some good things and we have improved our package from last year. 

"We still need to work to increase that forward step that we’ve made over these five days in Malaysia and Indonesia. 

"Now we can go home, evaluate and hopefully come back even stronger in Qatar. I think we can progress with our drive out of the corner and with rear grip in general: those are my two main things. 

"If we can sort them out then I think we’re going to be in good shape but I’m much happier. Hats-off to the team and thanks to everybody for their hard work. Qatar is a track that will really push us but I’m confident we’re in a better place than 2021."

The final day of pre-season testing also saw team-mate Miguel Oliveira improve both his one lap and race pace. 

The Potuguese rider had one of the strongest race runs during Sunday’s action and believes if the team can carry this momentum into round one, then a good start is possible, something they’ve lacked in recent seasons.

"Yeah, today was a tough day. Many laps. We did a lot of work with the medium rear when it was really hot," added Oliveira.

"We made a race simulation that went well, was one of the fastest, but it’s quite hard to judge what the other opponents did. 

"At the end we could do a time attack and understand a little bit more what to do in qualifying during the GP weekends. In the end it was five long days of testing and in very extreme conditions. 

"I feel ready physically to start the season and I think the team did a great job, a great effort. 

"They have been around Indonesia for a long time so I want to thank them for all the hard work. We go to Qatar with a good spirit and hopefully we can get a good start."

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