Brad takes fourth place finish in #IndianGP Sprint Race
MotoGP received a hot, humid and damp taste of India for the first time as round thirteen of the 2023 series made an inaugural visit to New Delhi. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rounded the fast and impressive Buddh International Circuit and watched Brad Binder take fourth in the 11-lap Sprint.
The Buddh International Circuit was a brand-new challenge for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and the KTM GP Academy. The former F1 venue last hosted a Grand Prix ten years ago but had been upgraded and prepped for the first ever visit by MotoGP in the sport’s 75th season. Extended sessions allowed the riders and teams time to get familiar with settings for the 5km and 13-corner layout and the hard-braking points as well as blend of technical challenges.
In hot and humid conditions Brad and teammate Jack Miller hounded the top positions with their KTM RC16s on Friday and with top speeds hitting 350kmph along the long back straight. Brad almost earned Q2 entry but a late yellow flag infringement saw his lap – which would have placed him in 4th – annulled. Saturday qualifying was a near-miss as Brad missed Q2 by fractions of a second. The outcome left him in 14th.
Q2 was followed in the afternoon by the 11 lap Sprint but a half-hour spell of heavy rain meant that the track was patchy, damp and hard to judge. The schedule slipped so the grid benefitted from an extra 15-minute familiarization period. The Sprint eventually got underway and the Red Bull KTMs flew into contention. Brad hit the top five and moved into fourth with Joan Mir’s mistake. He plagued the rear wheel of Marc Marquez and almost passed his rival for the podium.
“A great start, luckily! Happy with the progress we made today. Unfortunately we were caught out by the yellow flags again in qualifying but we have to be happy with the comeback. We made a fair few spots at the beginning but it was a tough race and I saw a few points where we need to improve for tomorrow. In general, I cannot complain. We started 13th and came back to 4th in 11 laps, so, solid.”