Riders to watch in 2021: Darryn Binder
Darryn Binder rolls into 2021 off the back of his most successful season yet.
South African rider Darryn Binder was able to take his first Moto3 World Championship win in 2020 in his sixth full season in the class, he was able to score more points in 2020 than he did in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 combined, plus more than doubled his 2019 points haul.
After spending 4 seasons with KTM he will move over to Honda machinery in the Petronas SRT team in 2021 lining up with Moto3 Veteran John McPhee, providing him with a clear pathway into MotoGP thanks to Petronas’ Moto2 and MotoGP teams.
Binder has been fairly impressive in Moto3 over the years but has had far too many crashes out of podium positions which have cost him dearly, he has raced in some top teams which include the Red Bull KTM Ajo squad but failed to make an impact taking just one podium, his first in the class. The year would end even worse for Binder when a 15-year-old Can Oncu would wildcard as his teammate and win the race at Valencia in his Moto3 World Championship debut, breaking the record for the youngest ever race winner held by Scott Redding.
Binder racing for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team
He moved to the CIP team for 2019 and was dropped by Red Bull but made sure to try and improve his consistency but once again struggled, taking P22 overall with 1 podium all season long with 8 DNF’s and scoring 3 fewer points than 2018 despite missing 2 races plus a race cancellation in the Red Bull year. He knew he needed to have a better 2020 otherwise his racing career could come to an end given how brutal the Moto3 class is for changing riders with teams doing all they can to secure the next World Champion in their team.
Despite racing 3 fewer races due to COVID-19, Binder more than doubled his 2019 54 points haul and took home 122 points and P8 in the World Championship, improving on his best overall result of P17 in the championship, this was a remarkable step up for the 22-year-old brother of Brad Binder who he is compared to by many given that Brad has gone on to win a MotoGP class race amongst many other incredible accolades including a World Championship.
The thorn in Darryns side is his qualifying, he has a tendency to qualify towards the back of the grid, normally in the P20’s which means he has to work much harder in the race to be able to keep up with the front runners, therefore, he has more tyre degradation and less fuel at the end of the race which means that he needs to be more lenient and careful in the closing laps of the race instead of pushing to take the race win, despite this he was still able to take some impressive race results including a P4 at the Andalucian Grand Prix after starting from P25 on the grid.
He was able to work with his team better later on in the season to qualify further up the grid giving him more tyres and fuel to play with come the end of the race, this improvement would come to fruition at Catalunya when he was able to take his first race win in the class and his fourth podium in his 93rd start, where did he qualify you may ask? Ninth.
As he has proven time and time again, he has great pace at the start of the race to be able to make up many positions to get to the front therefore by qualifying closer to pole position he has less work to do to reach the same goal.
It’s all you, Darryn
From then on the point was well and truly driven home and Binder would end up in the Q2 session for every single race following this win taking various top 15 qualifying positions and even pole position at Valencia. He had worked out the trick and took 3 top 5 finishes in the 6 races which followed his win. His other downfall is his crashes, he took 4 DNF’s in 2020 which in all fairness is half of his 2019 tally, but if he can also fix this thorn in his side he will be a true threat to the rest of the grid in 2021.
The Honda may also suit him better, Binder has shown he can be fast with KTM but is missing that tiny extra 10% to enable him to consistently fight for wins, potentially the Honda could be the answer along with better qualifying and less crashes. We are excited to see how he gets on in the fantastic Petronas set up which is one massive family, plus he will even have Valentino Rossi to talk to for advice if he requires it with Rossi joining the team in 2021 also.
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