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Binder 2nd and double podium prizes for KTM as Qatar MotoGP™ gets 2024 up to speed

The Qatar Grand Prix produced yet more extreme performance and faster race times and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing were chief protagonists in a tense opening joust of the 2024 campaign. Brad Binder followed up his runner-up finish in the Saturday Sprint at the Lusail International Circuit with a confident repeat 2nd position as teammate Jack Miller logged a 21st place finish after an early tumble in the 21-lap affair.

  • Round 1 of 21 in 2024 closes with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing achieving two trophies at the superb race facility north of Doha, celebrating its 20th anniversary as a MotoGP host venue
  • Brad Binder plots a course to the front on the 2024 spec of the KTM RC16 and now sits 2nd in the formative world championship standings after his Saturday Sprint podium
  • Jack Miller makes it to the flag and the culmination of a busy period in Qatar of testing and racing
  • Europe, Portugal and the spectacular Portimao circuit next for MotoGP in two weeks
 
Testing, qualifying, Sprints and then, finally, the Grand Prix. Qatar saw another healthy crowd packed into the main, central grandstand at the modern and impressive Lusail International Circuit as the MotoGP series got underway at the scene of the traditional ‘curtain-raiser’.
 
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing prepped for the 22-lap distance with the knowledge and data of the 11-lap Sprint from Saturday night in the hard drive. For Brad Binder and Jack Miller the Sunday evening outing was the chance to bank full points and click the 2024 season into gear. A mechanical problem for another rider caused a brief delay and a reduced 21-lap distance to be enforced. As on Saturday, Binder launched from 4th on the grid with Miller in 11th and the KTM RC16s were again noticeable for their rapid prowess from a standing start.
During the race Brad pursued Francesco Bagnaia closely and also battled with Jorge Martin; beating the Spaniard to the second step of the podium. The 2-2 scorecard overall represented a shining start to the season and announced the Binder/RC16 package as race winner-in-waiting. Jack was unlucky to slip out of the running on the second lap. He then endured a lonely run at the back of the field and completed the distance outside of the top twenty.
 
Round two will see the sport and paddock unpack their European Grand Prix set-ups for the first time when they arrive at the Algarve International Circuit in southern Portugal next week. The EU stop will be brief as the third date on the calendar takes the series to North America in April.
 
Brad Binder, 2nd: “Super-happy to be leaving with 2nd place again. I thought I might have had a bit to catch up and take the lead but every time I got a little closer then the gap stretched again! Anyway, we are happy to start the season this way. I think winning again is only a matter of time. My bike was next-level again, even after the improvements we had made for yesterday, so my team did an immense job. Hats off to them.”
 
Jack Miller, 21st: “Not how I wanted to start the season but those are the cards we were dealt today. The guys went a bit deep into Turn 1 and I tried to hold a tighter line and the front went away. I picked the bike up and was pushing afterwards but I was missing something today. I could not run close to the pace we needed. A head scratcher. We will try to work out what went wrong and try to fix it for Portimao.”
Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “A great race by Brad. He was outstanding out there. This isn’t one of our best tracks – or hasn’t been – so to be 2nd twice gives us a lot of confidence for the future. Also, the change we made to the bike after the Sprint made him happy. Crashing out meant that Jack could not take anything from the race but I am sure that he will be back near the front really soon. Portugal is another round for us and another challenge but with Brad in this kind of form and Jack with potential we can be optimistic.”
 
Grand Prix of Qatar photographs can be found HERE
 
Results MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar
 
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati 39:34.869
2. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +1.329
3. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati +1.933
9. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 11.595
17. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 +24.106
21. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +42.761
 
World Championship standings MotoGP
 
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati, 31 points
2. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 29
3. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati, 28
9. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull GASGAS Tech3, 9
17. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull GASGAS Tech3, 0
21. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 0
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