Brad Binder is not getting carried away by his brilliant start to the 2022 MotoGP season as improvements still need to be made according to the KTM rider 

What we can say about last weekend’s Qatar GP is that Binder is without question a title contender if he can keep his qualifying improvements up and KTM continues to supply a seemingly much better bike than that of 2021.  

Speaking in the aftermath of his and KTM’s first podium at Qatar in the premier class, Binder alluded to having much more margin to play with compared to last season, and that 'it’s a completely different motorbike'. 

Binder added: "To be honest, there are some things that are the same and some things that are completely different. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is. 

"But if we take our base setting from before compared to what we’re using now then it’s a completely different motorbike. It’s clear that it’s working better and I’m more comfortable with it. 

"I think it gives us the opportunity, especially when we have less grip or things aren’t perfect or we are struggling, we have more margin and we don’t have to ride so on the limit. I’m really happy with how the bike is working."

While Binder was somewhat gifted second place due to Pol Espargaro making a mistake at turn one with four laps remaining, the South African was never outside the top three throughout the 22-lap race. 

Binder was also helped by a fantastic start which saw him go from seventh to third by turn one, and although it wasn’t a first or second row start, it’s a considerable step in the right direction compared to last season’s qualifying performances. 

So does that make Binder a title favourite, and more importantly does he view himself that way at this early stage, well… the former Moto3 world champion still feels gains need to be made and that 'we need to keep our feet on the ground'. 

"It’s one race," added Binder. "It’s still very early days. I think we have a lot of completely different tracks we need to go to and completely different scenarios that we’re going to face in the future. 

"We need to keep our feet on the ground. I think we’re far from where we need to be still and I’m just going to keep grinding until we get there."