Johannesburg – Brad Binder may have concluded the 2022 MotoGP season on a high note, but upon reflection, the Red Bull KTM rider will likely feel unfulfilled and disappointed.
His post-race comments at the season-ending Valencia race on Sunday, when he finished second and earned his third podium of the year, were tinged with regret. Previously, Binder had finished in second place at the season-opening Qatar GP and in September in Japan.
“I am thrilled to be back on the podium,” Binder stated afterwards. “I came into this weekend with the attitude that I had to win, but it didn’t work out, but (race winner) Alex Rins rode exceptionally well” (Sunday).
“I must tip my cap to the team, I have the most incredible group supporting me. At KTM, there are some bizarre and extraordinary individuals.
THAT’S P2 for DUMB!
What a season-ending performance, @BradBinder 33!
#ValenciaGP picture on Twitter: Q0rvzfM4hp
November 6, 2022 — Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (@KTM Racing)
We’ve experienced both amazing and difficult situations this season, but we’ve always managed to give our absolute best on race day. Undoubtedly, being in the top six of the tournament is an honor.
“This weekend we made progress since I had been demanding greater driving grip and the team delivered for this race. I sincerely hope that by the end of the 2023 season, we will have found the final edge to be competitive every weekend.
“We fought hard and made several moves on Sunday. Let’s see what Tuesday’s (tests) results bring.”
The 27-year-old Binder stated at the outset of the racing season that he and the team would strive for a top-three result on every race day, an expectation that did not fully materialize.
Instead, the club was frequently involved in midfield battles and lacked the necessary speed to be considered genuine competitors. However, they might be fairly pleased with their dependability and constancy.
In 14 of the 18 races, Binder placed in the top 10 and only retired once. Miguel Oliveira, a departing teammate, had a comparable, albeit slightly more difficult season; he retired twice and finished outside the top 10 on eight times.
However, the Portuguese rider won the only two races for KTM in 2022, in Indonesia and Thailand.
It allowed KTM to advance in the constructors’ standings and finish second in the team standings, narrowly behind Ducati Lenovo, which produced the world champion rider, Francesco Bagnaia.
Binder would also finish this season in sixth place in the riders’ standings – the same as last season – with a significantly improved point total of 188 – 37 points more than in 2021.
Meanwhile, Darryn, Brad’s younger brother, had a horrible rookie year.
Next season, the 24-year-old will return to Moto2 after his WithU Yamaha RNF bike had minimal influence on the competition this year. In the rain-affected Indonesian race, Darryn’s best finish was tenth, and he earned a meager 12 points for his efforts.
Obviously, he was not solely responsible.
His team failed to make inroads into the season, ending 11th out of 12 teams this year. Despite his lack of experience and his rapid elevation from Moto3 to the elite category, he was unable to make a significant impact.
Darryn will ride for Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact in the second-tier class the next season – a step down in category, to be sure, but possibly the best move for his future.