Brad takes seventh place in #QatarGP Sprint Race

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The penultimate round of 2023 MotoGP visited the unique and freshly modernized environment of the Lusail International Circuit in Qatar and a previously happy hunting ground for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing. Brad Binder again marked the reference for speed and competitiveness with the RC16 by fighting for a top five position and taking 7th.

Lusail is a very different looking race circuit, thanks to comprehensive upgrades made to the paddock and general facilities. The light-bathed and resurfaced flat course remained the same however for the penultimate qualification and Sprint race of the year. The track held special memories for the launch of the company’s MotoGP program in 2017 and also for Brad’s superb podium finish in 2022.

For what is now a regular occurrence, the Red Bull KTM pair were strong and competitive from the first laps. Practice and qualification took place in late afternoon temperatures, light and conditions, while PR (for the crucial classification session for qualifying) and the Sprint happened under the glare of Lusail lightbulbs and in cooler and more moist air. The range of grip and traction was significant for setup and the RC16 and the crew tried their best for optimization. Brad ranked 4th through the Friday evening air and on Saturday afternoon secured 11th after Q2.

The MotoGP Sprint offered valuable data and timing for the main 22 lap distance on Sunday. The shorter spectacle involved 11 frantic circulations and saw Brad having to make some strong moves to roam within the large group seeking a top five classification. His 7th place was less than six seconds from the winner and just three seconds from the podium.

Brad Binder

“This whole weekend has been a bit tricky and I felt like I hit a bit of a wall in terms of struggling to improve and get a better feeling with the front. I felt great in the first three-four laps of the Sprint and thought ‘I can do something here today…’ but then as soon as the grip level dropped I ran into trouble. Difficult, but it was great we could learn what we could today and to see what we can fix to go again tomorrow.”