Fernandez: Binder podium 'really important to me, means the bike can perform'

'Brad Binder reaching the podium today is really important to me because it means that the bike can perform' - Raul Fernandez upbeat about KTM’s chances despite finishing last at the Qatar MotoGP.
Raul Fernandez, Qatar MotoGP race, 6 March 2022
Raul Fernandez, Qatar MotoGP race, 6 March 2022
© Gold and Goose

Tech 3 KTM rookie Raul Fernandez believes Brad Binder’s Qatar MotoGP podium is vital for the team as it 'means the bike can perform'. 

Despite finishing last and thus enduring a somewhat disastrous opening MotoGP round, Fernandez believes the potential is there after seeing the factory team rider claim KTM’s first ever podium at the Lusail International Circuit. 

Regarding Fernandez’s own race, last season’s Moto2 sensation was unable to demonstrate that same opening round potential in MotoGP after coming across the line in P18 - last place due to several riders crashing or in Jack Miller’s case having a problem with his bike. 

Fernandez was embroiled in a four-way rookie battle for the final points scoring position which eventually went the way of team-mate Remy Gardner, who pipped Darryn Binder over the line. 

"The weekend was difficult in general," claimed Fernandez. "Today in the race, all rookies battled in the same group, which is a signal that this track is very difficult for us if you don’t come here to do the preseason tests.”

"We did a good job this weekend, but I did not have a great feeling. We will analyse the data when we are more calm. 

"Today, my biggest learning curve was managing the tyres for a race duration. I gained a lot of experience and it is important to me.  

"Brad Binder reaching the podium today is really important to me because it means that the bike can perform and we have a reference to follow in order to get close to it as soon as possible."

With the Spaniard enjoying one of the better rookie seasons any class has seen in 2021, many anticipate the current Moto2 runner-up claiming rookie of the year honours once again. 

It’s an award that according to Team Manager Herve Poncharal is ‘the target’ for both riders.

Poncharal added: "This year is all about learning the category and the target is to fight for the Rookie of the Year title. 

"Raul had a good race and a great battle with all the rookies as they stayed close to each other the entire race, despite the track conditions changing at every single lap. 

"Even if he did not grab the point, I want to thank him for his dedication and his hard work. 

"We know that Raul is a fast rider and we understand that it can be difficult to accept that the learning process takes a while. I am sure that from the next race, he will already be better than today."

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