Chilly, slick surface at Spanish track wreaks havoc on Brad Binder's KTM's rear tyre

Brad Binder (KTM Media)
Brad Binder (KTM Media)

• Brad Binder finished the Catalan GP in 11th place.

• The cool conditions did not accommodate his tyre choice going into the race.

• Binder's rear tyre suffered the most in the second half of the race.

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The coolest conditions yet for 2020 MotoGP graced the eighth round of the season in Catalunya and made the slick asphalt of the circuit - a short distance north of Barcelona - a complicated challenge.

Teams and riders had to make snap judgements on tires in order to find rubber that would last the 24-lap race distance but also offer performance in the initial stages of the Grand Prix.

Three KTM RC16s filled spots on the top twelve of the grid with Pol Espargaro leading the third row in seventh place. Once the race started, the Spaniard was fighting for positions just inside the top ten with Danilo Petrucci when he lost front-end traction into Turn 1 on lap 13. He crashed out of seventh.

The same fate befell Red Bull KTM Tech3's Miguel Oliveira. The Portuguese was 9th until he hit the ground six laps later at Turn 2.

Brad Binder had recovered well from a slow start to push-up from outside the top fifteen and reach as high as ninth. The rookie then ran out of rear grip in the last three laps and reached the finish line in 11th. Iker Lecuona grabbed two points for 14th place.

KTM's highest-ranked rider in the FIM World Championship standings is Oliveira who is ninth and only 18 points from the top five.

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Brad Binder #33 (Red Bull Content Pool)

Team comments

Brad Binder: "Today was a bit different to what I had in mind. Coming into the race, my pace seemed really good, and I had a good feeling with the bike. In the race, it just didn't quite go to plan. I tried my best at the start, but when we hit lap sixteen things became a bit more difficult with the rear tire.

"It was tough, for sure. Not a great result in the end but we'll learn from this and use it for the future. We'll stay focused, look ahead to the next race and try to make things right there."

Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Race Manager: "We saw already earlier in the weekend that tire choice would be super-difficult for us. We would always find a solution in the afternoon when the temperatures were higher, but race day was pretty cold on track, and we knew it would be tough.

"Pol was doing well until he crashed but, overall, we cannot be happy with our overall results: it is the first time this season that we don't have a rider in the top ten, and we have to analyze why we could not find the performance we wanted. Everybody pushed and gave what they could, but we'll work now to know more for Le Mans."

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Brad Binder (KTM Media)

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