Brad Binder takes stunning #ArgentinaGP Sprint Race win, Jack Miller 10th
MotoGP barreled onto the quick kinks and climes of the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit for the Gran Premio Michelin de la Republica Argentina. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder thrilled the fans with a remarkable launch from 15th to win the second ever MotoGP Tissot Sprint by fractions of a second. Teammate Jack Miller grabbed 10th place having moved up from 16th.
From Portugal to the west, and fast. Argentina was the destination for MotoGP with barely a pause between an intense start to the 2023 season and the transcontinental trip to South America. The teams swapped trucks for freight and road for air miles as the fans and fever descended on Termas for the second year in a row.
Brad Binder had made good progress from the discomfort of his neck problem that limited some of his potential in Portugal and the South African wheeled the KTM RC16 to 15th place in qualification after MotoGP suffered low grip conditions and unstable weather with bouts of rainfall on Saturday. In the 12-lap Sprint Binder scorched from the bottom of the fifth row of the grid, cut his way to 5th in the opening corners and seized control by the third lap. Brad put the #33 on top of the podium for the first time since his victory in 2021 in Austria.
Jack Miller, bubbling after a fast and proactive debut for the team In Portugal, continued to improve. The Australian, a former Pole Position holder at Termas, qualified in 16th and also made a strong start in the Sprint. He crossed the line in 10th, just five seconds behind his teammate and built his pace up through the distance; clocking his best lap just two circulations from the finish.
The 12-lap dash on Saturday was the ‘appetizer’ and means MotoGP will now look to run 25 laps at full distance for the Grand Prix on Sunday. The race program starts at 16.00 CET with Moto3. MotoGP blasts away from the lights at 19.00 CET.
“I surprised myself a little bit: what a start. I got super-tight in Turn 1, held the inside line and then just picked them off one at a time. I thought if I could go to the front and fight like hell then maybe I could stay there and the plan worked. I could hear the boys behind me at the end but brought it home. Thanks to my team; the step from yesterday was unreal, the bike was fantastic and I look forward to see how we can manage tomorrow.”
“I struggled a lot at the beginning of the race and it seemed to get better lap by lap and by lap six I was starting to get more comfortable. I was able to improve.I was trying really hard to catch back to Fabio [Quartararo] and [Jorge] Martin in front of me and I was making some headway there. I think it was the first time in my career that I have prayed for more laps than there was! Brad showed the bike has all the capabilities. He qualified one position in front of me on the grid and he made it work, that’s for certain, I could not believe it. He rode a mega race. The bike has great potential and I could make some decent overtakes and put it where I wanted. It’s all practice for tomorrow.”