Motorcycles Binder was "scared" about Doha MotoGP tyre gamble
KTM reveals first pictures of Oliveira as factory MotoGP rider
KTM has revealed its first pictures of double MotoGP race winner Miguel Oliveira as part of its factory team line-up for 2021 alongside Brad Binder. © KTM Images Miguel Oliveira, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Oliveira made his MotoGP debut in 2019 with KTM at the satellite Tech3 squad, remaining with Herve Poncharal’s outfit in 2020 despite being asked to step up to the Austrian marque’s factory team to replace Johann Zarco. Pol Espargaro’s shock announcement of his departure from KTM to Honda for 2021 ahead of last season prompted KTM to promote Oliveira to the factory team for this year.
KTM’s Brad Binder admits he was “really quite scared” of having to use the medium front tyre in the MotoGP Doha Grand Prix but “didn’t have a choice”.
All four KTM riders ran the medium front tyre in last Sunday’s Doha GP, having wrecked the soft option in the Qatar GP the week before.
Binder said pre-Doha weekend that the tyre choice dealt KTM, while its preferred hard option didn’t work in the evening conditions.
Very few riders touched the medium front – the only asymmetric option in the front tyre range in Qatar – because it didn’t feel good, with Binder wary of using it because he crashed three times in testing on the compound.
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Despite enduring an “extremely hard race”, Binder managed to get his KTM home in eighth in the Doha GP having started 18th.
Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose /
“I was really quite scared to go back onto the medium front considering I crashed three times with it [in testing], and all three crashes were crashes where I didn’t expect it,” Binder explained.
“It just pretty much washed away on me, so that was a bit hectic. But we didn’t have a choice.
“The soft wasn’t an option, even in qualifying to do two time attacks on the same front tyre was impossible because it had already completely dropped on the right-hand side when I was trying to push on my new rear tyre.
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“So, we knew it was clear that even if we don’t like the medium, we have to use it purely because we won’t see the end of the race otherwise.
“I had to be super careful when transferring from one side of the rubber to the other and you almost have to brake straight and go over gently.
“You can’t brake through that amount of angle and when you do you get a lock on the front, which gives you a lot of negative feelings.
“So, I had to change up my style a little bit, especially in some of the right-hand corners entering.
“But once I figured it out I could push quite well on the front.”
Team-mate Miguel Oliveira ran as high as fourth in the opening stages of the Doha race having leaped up from 12th, but could only manage 15th after his RC16’s dashboard switched off early on.
Struggling to understand what gear he was in and when to correctly shift, Oliveira also unknowingly selected a leaner engine map which added to his woes.
Martin: Wins in junior classes “better” than first MotoGP pole .
Pramac rookie Jorge Martin admits winning races in Moto2 and Moto3 felt “better” than scoring his maiden MotoGP pole position on Saturday ahead of the Doha Grand Prix. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing The Spaniard will start Sunday’s second round of the 2021 MotoGP season at the head of the pack after beating Pramac teammate Johann Zarco to pole in Qatar with a time of 1m53.106s. Martin is the first rookie MotoGP pole winner to do so on a Ducati and the first debutant to take top honours in qualifying since Fabio Quartararo in 2019.