Brad takes second place in the final Sprint Race of the 2023 season
The Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, the traditional season-closing event for MotoGP, was tremendously lucky with the late autumn climate in eastern Spain as blue skies and warm sunshine helped raise the temperatures for practice on Friday and then the qualification run and final Sprint of the season on Saturday.
The confined, tight and curving 4km course had been resurfaced and was a grippy prospect for the riders and teams, contemplating the last Grand Prix of the season and also of a demanding triple header. On Friday Brad Binder and teammate Jack Miller were immediately on pace; Binder was just one thousandth of a second from the seven year all-time lap record and ranked 6th. Miller had two falls but was still fast enough to make Q2 comfortably as less than half a second split the top ten.
The team then entered Q2 and were competitive from the outset. Brad held P1 and lapped consistently on the fringe of the old lap record. The South African looked to be heading for the first row until the final minutes when Miller moved up to 3rd. When the ’00:00’ flashed up both KTMs were inside the top five and side-by-side on the second row.
The Sprint lasted for 13 laps and Brad lunged into contention for the win. He caught and passed two riders to seize the lead briefly. He then shadowed Jorge Martin all the way to the flag through the last circulations; the gap was less than two tenths of a second at the finish.
MotoGP will rush around the circuit for 27 laps on Sunday afternoon at 15.00 (CEST).
“I had a really good race today. On the first lap I tried to be aggressive. I put my head down and got to the lead. I had a lot of moments out there and didn’t quite have enough to take the win but super-happy to be back on the podium.”