This weekend Germany hosted a memorable eighth round of the MotoGP calendar at the historic counter-clockwise Sachsenring. If facing one of the tightest, twisty and most technical circuits on the calendar wasn’t already enough, the man upstairs threw in some unpredictable weather to finish it all off. After all, this is the most exciting and unpredictable championship in the world, right?
Darryn Binder had a bittersweet qualifying after contact was made with another rider. Darryn dominated Q1 and ended it on top, despite a turn 1 crash on his final lap. Unfortunately, due to the contact made with another rider during his incident, Darryn was black-flagged from Q2. This meant he would start Sunday’s race from 18th and still have to take a ride-through penalty during the race—an unfair decision from the stewards, in my opinion.
Despite all odds, Darryn was focused on riding his best race and leaving this weekend’s penalties behind him. He made a good start off the line and quickly made his way into ninth, before taking his ride-through penalty at the end of the third lap. After rolling back onto the circuit in 24th and just over 10 seconds adrift, our fellow South African pushed hard to steadily reduce the gap, joining the back of the field on lap 14.
Darryn showed great pace and strength, he made his way through the pack and crossed the line in 14th. After all the drama, Darryn still managed to claim two world championship points, bringing his total to 60 and moving to seventh in the riders’ standings.
DB: “Unfortunately after a mistake in Q1 yesterday the stewards gave me two penalties: the disqualification from Q2 but also a ride-through for today. I was very disappointed because the ride-through does ruin your race, but I went out and did what I could. I was lucky enough to come away with two points, which is better than nothing! At the least the penalty is out the way, we have points in the bag and now we roll on to Assen – the last round before the summer break. I really want to be able to go into the break with something to celebrate.”
Brad’s race weekend was all about finding the right setup for a good and competitive race, come Sunday. He made some good progress in FP4 but couldn’t squeeze through Q1 due to front-wheel chatter in the stifling climate—the “Sunday Rider” was just three tenths from an attempt at Q2, placing him 13th on the grid.
Sunday’s conditions were the exact opposite to what riders saw during free practice and qualifying in Saxony—cooler temperatures and a chance of rain were on the cards. Despite this, fans of the orange brand were backing both Miguel Oliveira (6th) and Brad Binder (13th) at full RPM.
Brad made an excellent jump from the fourth row and in no time at all, slotted himself into the top seven. Binder continued to make progress and was having a fantastic race on his maiden visit to the Sachsenring on his KTM RC16. Meanwhile, teammate Oliveira made his way into second and was chasing down the “King Of The Ring” Marc Marquez.
Brad managed to make a break in the last three laps and tried his best to close the gap to Fabio Quartararo in third. Unfortunately, he ran out of time and crossed the line in fourth position, earning him his third top-five classification of the season and placing him eighth in the championship—not too shabby.
BB: “I’m really happy with 4th in the end because we started the Grand Prix by being stone-last in FP1! I slowly worked my way forward through the weekend. It wasn’t easy for me to adapt to this place on the bigger bike. I gave it my absolute ‘all’ out there today. I tried as hard as I could. I wanted the podium – and I could see Fabio – but ran out of time to get close enough. In general, I’m happy with the job we did and the team worked fantastically because when I was struggling they continued to make the bike better and better and that brought my level up. We made a big step. Thanks guys, let’s see what we can do in Assen.”
What a stunning weekend of racing, we got to see Marc Marquez get his mojo back, Oliveira continuing to prove that he is a top contender and Brad getting more comfortable on the RC16 while reeling in the top guns. The championship will now head straight to the Netherlands (27 June) for the final round before the summer break.