Brad closes #MalaysianGP weekend with a DNF in the main race
The Sepang International Circuit brought some staple ingredients to the annual hosting of MotoGP in Malaysia and the site 50km south of the center of Kuala Lumpur: stuffy 30+ degree temperatures, a fascinating and tricky 5.5km racetrack, a large and expectant crowd, and teams with knowledge and references from the pre-season test at the same venue but also trying to solve the tire consumption headache for maximum performance.
The Grand Prix took place over 20 laps and with Red Bull KTM looking to see if the 5th and 6th positions aced in the Saturday Sprint by Brad Binder and Jack Miller respectively could be repeated or improved. Both riders launched from the third and fourth rows of the grid and into leading group contention as the field set about establishing an effective race rhythm.
It was a static affair dictated by effective grip. Brad and Miller were wrapped up in a multi-rider battle for 5th but sadly Brad did not reach mid-race distance when he crashed into Turn 11.
Brad has almost confirmed 4th position in the world championship standings for 2023. He is 75 points from 3rd and 54 ahead of 5th with just 74 left to win this season. After two years of consecutive 6th place finishes #33 is heading to a PB in his fourth MotoGP term.
The many lights and the impressive setting of the Lusail International Circuit will be switched on for MotoGP next week. The Grand Prix of Qatar takes place at the end of the season compared to the normal opening slot (due to circuit renovations) and MotoGP should find an upscaled but nevertheless challenging Doha-based layout (where Binder was runner-up in 2022) for round nineteen of twenty in a few days.
Brad Binder, DNF:
“I had a good warm-up session and felt really good but then just struggled in the race. It was hard to stop the bike and if I carried any corner speed then the front end would wash. It was a fight to stay clean and to try and pick guys off. Unfortunately, I just washed-out in Turn 11 and there is not much more to say. We tried a few different things for the race today and with the heat and the grip level they didn’t really work. Lessons learned for Qatar and moving forward.”