Brad Binder takes second in #AustrianGP sprint race, Jack Miller 5th
The CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich began in fiery fashion with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing contributing to a tense Sprint and Qualification agenda at the Red Bull Ring. In front of a voluminous attendance at Spielberg Brad Binder was runner-up for his third Sprint podium of the season. Jack Miller rode to a decent 5th.
A massive draw of MotoGP fans waved orange flags and shouted as loud as the bikes themselves for the first serious day of action at the CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich and the event that draws the 2023 campaign up to the halfway point. The fast, cambered corners of the Red Bull Ring provided the usual short, rapid and intense challenge and with lap-records tumbling already through Practice on Friday.
Red Bull KTM carried home hopes and expectations for Qualification and the first Sprint on Austrian soil. Brad Binder had already made Q2 directly thanks to his top five efforts on Friday and a best lap a second faster than what he managed in 2022. Jack Miller missed out but then triggered the timing beam twice to top Q1 on Saturday to join his teammate. Through the late morning sunshine both Binder and Miller hit low 1-minute 29s – close to the course record – and ended the short and crucial Q2 with Brad in 3rd and Jack 4th for orange on both the first and second rows of the grid. Both were two tenths of a second or less from Pole.
The KTM RC16s were usual quick starters for the 14-lap Sprint and ran 2-3 behind Francesco Bagnaia. Binder kept the world champion close as the duo pulled free. The Aussie battled hard for the podium and made it to the line in 5th while Binder was further up the track and a safe 2nd, collecting 9 championship points for his efforts.
“Very happy with how it turned out. Qualified well and went with the leader but just struggled to make everything stick. I did my best and brought it home in 2nd and now we have this evening and the morning to tweak a few things and find improvements for tomorrow. We’ve made a massive step compared to where we were at this track last season so I have to say big thanks to my team and all the bosses for their continued support.”
“Not a bad day, not a great day: just a day! The bike worked quite well and we made some steps overnight. We graduated out of Q1 and into Q2 and then putting it on the second row was a bonus. I had a good start but after about five laps I was struggling with drive and was trying to make it up in the braking zones but that pushed up the tire pressure. It was hard to stop after that and I had a few moments locking the thing. We gained a lot of knowledge today about what we can do to try and improve for tomorrow. We got some points on the board and we’re looking forward to having a go again on Sunday.”