Brad Binder is convinced that KTM are ‘Super Close’ to Ducati after Phillip Island
Brad Binder has claimed that KTM are now extremely close to the Ducati’s performance.
Brad Binder on KTM (via motorsport.com)
Brad Binder started Saturday’s Grand Prix from P2 following a stunning qualifying session on his orange monster – the KTM. Binder held his P2 spot for most of the race behind Jorge Martin. The eventual race winner later overtook binder – Johann Zarco on the penultimate lap. Zarco’s move allowed Francesco Bagnaia and Fabio Di Giannantonio to pass as well. Binder ultimately finished P4 ahead of Jorge Martin.
Binder has produced great pace following KTM’s upgrade to the bike, which was introduced in Japan. The Austrian factory upgraded the RC16’s chassis to a carbon fiber build. Binder’s recent strong performances highlight the substantial progress made by the team. He expressed his satisfaction with this year’s bike and later claimed that the RC16’s performance is not far from the Ducatis.
We made a massive step forward, I felt so good on the bike. I think we’re not far off, we’re super close [to Ducati]. Clearly, at the end, they had a little bit more grip than we had, even though I nursed my tire the whole way. They had a tiny bit extra.Binder said, as reported by Motorsport.com
The South African rider, famous for his Sunday performances, isn’t known to be very good at qualifying as the KTM rider has appeared to struggle multiple times on a Saturday. Binder, however, pointed out how the bike allowed him to put forth a stunning hot lap during Q2 as he continued to talk about his first front-row start. KTM has proven to become a formidable challenger to race wins in a very short time in the premier class. It will be interesting to see what the Austrian giants do in a couple more years.
We had a really good qualifying, best qualifying I've ever had in MotoGP. It was super cool lining up with no one in front of you.
What KTM lacks when compared to the Ducati
KTM entered the Premiere class in 2017 with Pol Espargaro as their main rider, who was also tasked with developing the orange-laced bike. KTM had made a name for themselves in the lower classes with multiple championships in Moto2 and Moto3. The Austrian company has 5 Moto3 titles and 2 Moto2 Titles. The factory, famous for its raw power delivery and crisp handling, has won titles in every motorsport they’ve entered, bar one – MotoGP. Here’s what they must improve to challenge for the peak of Motorcycle racing.
Brad Binder, who won KTM their first Grand Prix in MotoGP, commented on how the RC16 isn’t far behind the top in terms of speed, it’s tire degradation that the KTM struggles to manage. Binder pointed out how he struggled for grip in the closing laps of the Australian Grand Prix while the Ducatis faired relatively well. Binder also noted in his comment how this year’s bike has gotten better in managing the tires compared to the 2022 RC16.
We're always a bit harder on our tires than some of our competitors. I know last year I had no tire left with five laps to go and [this time] I made it to the end quite competitive.
The path is clear for KTM to join Ducati as frontrunners for the Championship. If the KTM can manage its tires as well as the Ducati, it will be interesting to see if they can join the European duo, Ducati and Aprilia, in taking over their Japanese [Honda and Yamaha] competitor’s dominance in the sport.
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