MotoGP Rookie Gardner Doesn’t Like Darryn Binder

Image source: RNF MotoGP Racing

The dust has barely settled on the first MotoGP race of the 2022 season and already the first sounds of whingeing have started. They concern the riding antics of one rider who annoyed another rider.

Now, this is nothing new. Many riders have accused other riders of questionable riding tactics during the race or qualifying, usually involving getting in the way or erratic riding. Fair enough: everyone is trying to gain even the minutest advantage and when they are prevented from achieving that, tempers do tend to get a little frayed.

Image source: RNF MotoGP Racing

You can understand it when the protagonists are fighting at the sharp end for podium positions or race wins. You can also understand it when the riders involved are experienced. But when it starts right down at the blunt end of the pack and between two rookies, then you really want to tell the whiner to drink a cup of cement and harden the [email protected]*k up and stop throwing their toys out of the cot.

The two riders in question, in this case, are Remy Gardner, son of Australian legend Wayne Gardner, and Darryn Binder, brother of KTM rider Brad Binder.

Image source: motogp.com

Now, Remy Gardner followed the traditional route of Moto3, Moto2 and then MotoGP. Binder, on the other hand, made a controversial – and much criticised – jump from Moto3 straight to MotoGP.

In the Qatar race, they were running close together for the majority of the race, with Binder ahead and Gardner following. At the end of the race, Gardner took the last point in 15th place, with Binder a hairs-breadth behind him. So far, so good. You’d think Gardner would be happy with his first point in his debut race, while Binder could be disappointed at missing out on his first point but could take comfort in the fact that he at least finished and certainly not dead last.

Image source: motogp.com

But all is not well in the MotoGP kindergarten, it seems. Gardner, father and son, have criticised Binder for having the unmitigated gall to hold up Gardner for much of the race, thus preventing Gardner from finishing higher up the order.

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the point of racing to finish ahead of your opponents? Isn’t the point of racing to fight tooth and nail every inch of the way and not to simply roll over because the guy behind you thinks he deserves to be ahead? If Gardner is that good, why couldn’t he get past Binder?

Image source: KTM

The problem for Gardner was, of course, the fact that Binder, having missed out on the stepping stone that is Moto2, should be able to fight with Gardner, who came into MotoGP as the reigning 2021 Moto2 champion. Gardner obviously feels that his achievement gives him some sort of superiority over Binder and that Binder should defer to his superiors. Or he’s embarrassed that a Moto3 upstart shouldn’t be able to run with him, a World Champion.

This is what Gardner said after the race:

“At one point, I felt capable of catching Maverick Viñales and Andrea Dovizioso, but I had Darryn Binder in front of me and I could not get past him.

“He is coming from the Moto3 class, so he was all over the place, coming back on line without looking, he was wide. It was a disaster and I lost the group. I am hoping to catch up with him to discuss this.

Image source: motogp.com

“On the one hand, it’s normal, because it was his first MotoGP race and he came straight from Moto3 to the MotoGP World Championship. But I hope things will get a little better in the future.”

Gardner Senior also weighed in on the issue:

“We didn’t fight for victory in Doha, but more or less for last place. A little more respect would have been good.”

Image source: KTM

What a pretentious attitude. By ‘respect’, do they mean Binder should have moved over and waved Gardner through? It’s dog-eat-dog out there so Gardner better toughen up and do his talking on the track and not in his high chair being spoon-fed by daddy. Gardner might feel he is in MotoGP as a result of his achievements and that Binder has lucked into his ride and that is certainly one viewpoint and not entirely without merit. But the fact is, no matter how they both got there, they are now there and everything is reset: yesterday’s reputation or achievements mean nothing.

Brad Binder was once at the receiving end of similar criticism from Valentino Rossi a couple of years ago, Rossi complaining that Binder was riding very hard and not showing enough respect. Seriously? Rossi at the time was consistently running at the back of the pack and he was clearly past his best, while Binder was a hungry rookie. The idea that ‘respect’ – meaning ‘you should get out of my way because I am older and have achieved more’ – should come into it is absolute rubbish. Was Rossi any respecter of experience or status when he came into the top class of racing? The notion is laughable.

Image source: Sepang Racing Team

You’re only there for one reason – to win – and the ones who win will have done anything to make that happen.

Maybe Darryn Binder has brought some of the Moto3 bashing and barging mentality into MotoGP but that is only natural. He will mature from that in time but, until then, let’s just enjoy his no-holds-barred style.

Image source: RNF MotoGP Racing

As a conclusion, here are Darryn Binder’s comments after the race:

“I had a nice battle with Remy (Gardner), I really enjoyed fighting with the rookies, I learned so much throughout the race and by the end, I really wanted to fight for 15th, for the point, but I just missed out.”

Image source: RNF MotoGP Racing

This has got nothing to do with supporting the home hero over the dastardly Aussie – I would feel the same no matter who the riders were. But they’re now playing on the grown-up field, so I suggest Gardner grows a pair and does his talking on the track.

Harry has been obsessing about motorbikes for over 45 years, riding them for 38 years and writing and talking about them for 13 years. In that time, he has ridden everything from an Aprilia to a Zundapp, from the 1920s to the 2020s. His favourites are the ones that didn’t break down and leave him stranded. While he loves the convenience of modern bikes, he likes nothing better than getting his hands dirty keeping old bikes running, just as long as it’s not by the roadside! Old enough to know better and young enough not to care, he knows you don’t stop riding when you get old, you get old when you stop riding.