Darryn Binder made his MotoGP debut in Qatar after jumping from Moto3, safe to say he impressed.
Darryn Binder has been the face of much criticism recently after it was announced he was moving to MotoGP from Moto3 at the end of 2021 remaining under the guidance of Razlan Razali in the newly formed RNF Yamaha squad, many believing he isn’t ‘deserving’ of the seat due to his Moto3 record of six podiums and one victory. Despite this he was clearly the most well-suited rider on the 2021 Moto3 grid for such a move due to his stocky build and aggressive riding style that found him often pushing his Moto3 bike well past the limits of its working window.
This criticism was further pushed after Portimao 2021 when he was involved in the Moto3 title decider following a collision with Sergio Garcia and title contender Dennis Foggia when Darryn went for an overtake that perfectly coincided with an overtake by Sergio Garcia further ahead, this caused a huge pile-up and handed Pedro Acosta the world championship.
Despite an uproar from people calling for his MotoGP contract to be torn to shreds and some riders such as Aleix Espargaro commenting on it stating that there should be a ‘super license’ in the class, Binder would remain with the WithU RNF MotoGP squad for 2022 alongside Andrea Dovizioso.
Pre-season testing went as you’d expect for a rider tasked with the nearly impossible job of moving from a 48HP 250cc machine to a 320+HP 1000cc monster with all sorts of technological aids to help the rider actually try to harness the power that these things contain. Not only that but the electronics are a job in themselves from GPS that knows exactly what corner you are on and re-adjusts the bikes settings, suspension and maps to suit the carbon brakes that have caught many riders out over time, we can’t forget Miguel Oliveira’s first experience with them.
Binder on the 1000cc BEAST.
He finished dead last throughout testing and was in the bottom four for every session in Qatar eventually starting the race from P24 on the grid, this was completely expected with no expectations being given to the South African given the nature of his monumental career jump from the lightweight class into the premier MotoGP class. What wasn’t expected though was that he’d come 0.012 seconds away from scoring his first MotoGP points on his debut.
Darryn Binder found a lot of pace in a race setting, finishing the race only 41 seconds from race winner Enea Bastianini over 22 laps meaning he was only losing under 2 seconds a lap and battled with experienced Moto2 riders and even the 2021 Moto2 World Champion Remy Gardner, instead of doing as many thought he would and come close to being lapped, proving that significant progress was being made in the garage.
Of course in typical Darryn Binder style, this didn’t go without some issues with Remy Gardner stating that “we don’t need to be riding like complete monkeys out there” after Binder supposedly resorted to his ways of dive-bombing Remy at every opportunity.
It’s safe to say that the debut went much better than planned for the South African rider and he has left Qatar with confidence and the belief that he isn’t as out of his depth as originally thought.
Featured images- RNF Yamaha