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"The first day was a little bit scary actually," admits South African Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) riding on the KTM MotoGP™ machinery for the first time since the Qatar Test, back in February. "It was insane, I felt like I was always two steps behind where the bike was."
Of course, this was just the fifth chance the 2019 Moto2™ runner-up had to test the KTM RC16 (having ridden for the first time at the Valencia Test, last year), and so it took him some time to warm back up to it after this four-month unexpected break. “It was difficult at the beginning, it's strange after sitting on the couch for three months, of course I was training every day but, not riding something that performs like a MotoGP bike. It was overwhelming, the first five exits I was completely lost, the whole first day was difficult. You'd go into a corner a brake where you thought your marker was but you just exited the previous corner a bit better and you'd fly past the corner and straight into the gravel”.
Binder to stay with KTM for seventh year, second in MotoGP™
But the 2016 Moto3™ World Champion soon got warmed up again. “The second day when I woke up, on the first lap I felt like I was in control again and everything felt a little bit more relaxed”.
His teammate Pol Espargaro and KTM Test Rider Dani Pedrosa had test previously at the team’s home in Austria. “I was stuck in South Africa.” Said Binder, repenting tbe missed opportunity. “There was no way of me getting to the test. But anyway, it was good to just have those two days in Misano for me to wake up again, for me it was really, really important”.
KTM return to testing on home turf
Espargaro was also at the test in Misano, as well as some of the WorldSBK key players. “I got behind Pol for a couple of laps” said Binder “but that was the only GP boy I got to follow. I saw Jonny Rea out on track a couple of times, that was quite cool. I've always watched a looked up to them in World Superbike for I don't know how many years now. But it was quite sick to be out on track with all the big boys as you might call them, it was nice to ride around and check how everyone compares”.
After “waking up”, Binder looks to the first round of the year in Jerez, kicking off on Friday 17th of July. “From here on it's going to be great to be in a normal weekend where you have FP1, FP2, FP3 - you know, a normal race weekend where you can really learn, be on track with other riders and it gives you the opportunity to see what the other guys are doing and that will boost the whole learning process”.
Brad Binder reflects on a succesful test for KTM at Misano
1 year ago
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