Brad lines up 17th on the COTA grid
MotoGP shimmered in the Texan sunshine at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas and round four of the 2022 series. During a regular practice and qualification schedule in the USA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder was the fastest KTM RC16 rider as the South African claimed 17th place on the start grid for Sunday’s race.
MotoGP circulated one of the most technical and challenging layouts on the calendar for round four as the championship returned to the undulating Circuit of the Americas in Austin just six months after the previous visit late in 2021. Hot sunshine and blustery conditions marked two days of the event program as the teams and riders did their best to alter set-up to suit the mix of twisty corners, a long straight, hard-braking and slow curves that form the 5.5km trajectory.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing worked their way through the conundrum of optimizing the RC16 both for the rapid time attack pace and competitiveness for the long 20-lap distance on Sunday afternoon. After Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning the top 16 riders were split by one second.
All four KTM riders had to negotiate Q1. Brad was able to record his best chrono of the session at the last attempt but it was less than a second away from Q2 entry for the fourth time this year.
“It’s been a challenging weekend for us so far and a bit more difficult than we thought it would be. We’ve fought hard both days and it’s a bit disappointing to be back in 17th place. We need to understand what is going on and work for tomorrow: the points count for Sunday, not today. We need to dig deep and get a bit more comfortable for the race and if we can do that then I’m sure we can leave here with some solid points.”