After a brilliant race at the Aragon MotoGP, where he narrowly missed out on the podium to Aleix Espargaro despite starting 10th, Binder was two places better at Motegi converting his first front-row start in the premier class to second. place.
The KTM rider seemed to struggle during the early stages after being overtaken by teammate Miguel Oliveira and Jorge Martin, however Binder’s pace grew stronger and stronger as the race went on, before overtaking Martin for P2 with one lap remaining.
“It was a fantastic weekend for me and the team. We’ve been working really hard this season and haven’t had a lot of good results so to be back on the podium is an amazing feeling,” said Binder.
“It was tough today, at the beginning of the race I was really struggling a bit to understand how hard I could push with the rear end because it was my first time doing laps in the H [hard tyre].
“I clearly understood very well following Jorge and Jack at the beginning, where we were losing time and where I was strong, so I was able to circle behind them and really figured out where I needed to improve and use my strengths to my advantage.”
The 2022 season has been another disappointing one for KTM, with the Austrian manufacturer only taking one win which came in extremely poor conditions at Mandalika.
With that in the back of his mind, Binder alluded to his Motegi podium being “desperately needed”, while also hoping it could serve as a momentum generator going forward.
Binder said: “As the race went on I felt I was getting better and better, and I have to say a huge thank you to my team for giving me the confidence to go with the H-rear considering we had never used it.
“To go out today with a podium is fantastic, I pushed hard and fought hard from the first lap, but as I said, congratulations to my team.
“They fought so hard, we desperately needed this podium and this is the start of many more.”
Jack Miller on ‘another level’, says future MotoGP teammate Binder
While Binder was one of the fastest riders at the end of Sunday’s race, the pace Miller showed up front was too intense for anyone, including Binder.
The future teammates will form one of the strongest rider pairings on the grid next season at KTM, and Binder is excited to have the Australian join the Austrian team.
“Congratulations to Jack, he was on another level today,” said Binder. “When he passed me, he literally disappeared in about three or four laps. I could see he was on a roll and knowing Jack, I thought he would have the hard tyre, too.”
“Around lap 10, I knew we wouldn’t see him again. Congratulations to Jack and it will be amazing to have him on the team next year.”