Brad takes top five finish in #DutchGP Sprint Race
The TT Circuit Assen brings MotoGP to the end of an intense three-week back-to-back stint of Grands Prix and Red Bull KTM charged into the Saturday agenda of round eight of the series with Brad Binder bursting with top three potential. Brad finished 3rd in the Sprint Race but was demoted to 5th place after a contentious last lap track limits decision. The South African had qualified 5th and on the second row of the grid.
The TT Circuit Assen might have chopped and changed over the course of a glorious 74-year history in the world championship but the Drenthe trajectory is still a wonderfully fast, weaving and challenging prospect for the record-breaking speeds of MotoGP.
Brad, who has finished 12th and 5th at Assen in his two premier class appearances at the venue, scorched to two rapid laps in Q2 and briefly held Pole Position. He was nudged down the order and then occupied 2nd. A slender two tenths of a second was the final difference between #33 and Pole; 5th on the grid meant the middle of the second row and his second-best qualifying of the season so far.
The 4.5km, 18-corner layout meant 13 laps for the Tissot Sprint and Brad made a brilliant start to hold 2nd place. He was passed by eventual winner Marco Bezzecchi but bravely held off the challenge by Fabio Quartararo on the last lap to cross the line in 3rd. Brad was then saddled with a three-second penalty for the tightest of track limit calls and relegated to 5th.
The Motul TT Assen main event starts at 14.00 with 26 laps in store. The race will be followed by a five-week summer hiatus and broken with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in early August.
“I did my best and I think I did a pretty good race. I would have loved to have been on the podium but the reality was that I touched the green. I had no idea and it must have been by a couple of millimeters. Somehow I missed on my dashboard that I had a warning already. It’s over for now and tomorrow I’ll give myself a few more centimeters! Overall, it’s a bit frustrating because you don’t know you are touching that area and it means you are fuming after the race! But I touched it, and I’d actually lost the front end in the corner before on two occasions and I think that put me a little bit more out than usual. Anyway, tomorrow is another day!”