When he announced his move to MotoGP directly from Moto3, some predicted a particularly complicated year for Darryn Binder. Only Jack Miller had also been promoted without going through Moto2 in 2015, and this choice had already been strongly criticized when the Australian had finished vice-world champion. With a much thinner track record, Binder then raised a lot of questions about the merit and relevance of such a leap into the deep end.
However, the younger brother of Brad Binder has created the surprise. At the handlebars of a Yamaha which gives a hard time to Franco Morbidelli in the official team, the South African has patiently learned to tame his mount, without any other reference in MotoGP. An inexperience which in the end may have been beneficial to him, and when it comes to taking stock of the mid-season, it is clear that he is on equal points in the championship with his experienced teammate, triple vice-Champion of the MotoGP world, Andrea Dovizioso.
Binder managed to enter the points twice, starting each time from 23rd position. A nice performance which earned him a 10th place in Indonesia and a 12th in Catalonia. This first top 10 in the rain at Mandalika, at the end of only his second race in the premier category, had impressed the field, and Binder then took the place of best rookie in the championship. Largely overtaken by Marco Bezzecchi since, who literally took off with 55 points, Binder is, with his 10 points, only eight units behind Fabio Di Giannantonio, and is ahead of Remy Gardner and Raúl Fernández.
“I give myself 8/10 because I feel it’s really a big, big step to come from Moto3 and I think that on some points I’ve done quite well this year”did he declare. “Of course I struggled in some races, and I crashed at the Sachsenring. But overall I think I did a good job and I’m getting closer and closer so I’m giving myself an eight I missed out on some races like in the US I wasn’t riding well and then my bike had a little problem And at Le Mans I was a bit lost and it took me [un moment] to find the right path. But other than that, I feel like it went well.”
The South African indeed counts three white results and still struggles to be fast over the whole weekend. A lack of regularity linked in his eyes to his passage directly into MotoGP, without having previously known Moto2. And if he has less pressure on his shoulders now that he has signed some results, he does not forget the path he still has to go.
“Once in a while, I feel like [les gens] sometimes forget a little, but just a little, that it was a big milestone”he added. “You’re doing something right and you’re expected to keep doing it, and sometimes you have to go back, have all of your control back to move forward. And I feel that’s what happened. spent at the Sachsenring. I came from Barcelona, I had scored points, I was doing things well, I was faster in practice and I closed the gap on the leaders in each session. I felt enough strong all weekend, and then I missed qualifying. You want that improvement, but sometimes you have to remember that it’s a big cap, and it’s so tight here that if you’re at a second, you’re nowhere.”
Binder can however pride himself on having succeeded in his arrival in MotoGP and on having been able to make people forget his past as an aggressive and very inconstant rider. If he does not yet know what his future will hold, his handlebars within the RNF team being threatened by the number of pilots on the market, he has already won a lot by making this daring bet to skip Moto2. A category that he could also finally discover next year, if he were to lose his place in MotoGP.
With Lewis Duncan and Mark Bremer
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