Top 8 for Jack Miller in the #CatalanGP but DNF for Brad Binder
Jack Miller rounded an overcast, hot and windy Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, flanked by a noisy 71,000 crowd to record 8th position with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing RC16. Teammate Brad Binder had to retire from a sensational 23-lap spectacle around the slick racetrack.
Catalunya represented the second Grand Prix on Spanish asphalt in 2023 and although the flowing and greasy surface of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosted MotoGP slightly later than the traditional June date, the temperatures remained high, the fans packed the stands and the world championship kept fast at the 355kmph mark.
Brad Binder and Jack Miller started from 9th and 13th positions on the start grid and with useful data accumulated from the Saturday Sprint where Binder’s solid 4th place finish was the highlight. The South African made the brighter getaway on Sunday afternoon and in breezy conditions as Miller avoided the first turn mess that blighted his Sprint efforts 24 hours earlier. However, Binder was unable to dodge the fallen Francesco Bagnaia out of Turn 2 that caused him to crash. The melee provoked an immediate red flag and a restart for a 23-lap run.
The RC16s were holding 6th and 7th until Brad had to stop due a mechanical glitch after three laps. Miller ploughed ahead and was incredibly close to demoting Fabio Quartararo at the flag. Just 0.059 divided the pair in the fight for 7th.
Binder stays 4th in the championship with a 23-point gap to 3rd. Miller is 9th as the series now shuttles straight to Italy and the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for the Gran Premio Red Bull di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini next weekend.
Jack Miller, 8th:
“We made some massive changes today and it took me a good five-six laps to get used to them and manage these low grip conditions. I have to apologize to the guys because they have been working their butts off to help us and to save the tires. We turned the bike upside down and I got the feeling back. I made a couple of mistakes but then started going quite strong. I didn’t realize it was the last lap because I wanted to manage the tire but it was fun and I could ride the way I wanted. It was cool. Misano is the opposite of here, a lot of grip, so we’ll see what we can do there.”
Brad Binder, DNF:
“A crazy afternoon. I had a really good launch but through the exit of Turn 2 I did not see a thing until I arrived to Pecco and his bike in the middle of the track. I clipped something on his bike, went to miss him and couldn’t. I ended up falling. Thank goodness I saw him moving, so I hope he is fine. We restarted the race, and I brought the last tire we had up to temperature but then we had a technical issue. My only priority today is that I did not seriously hurt anybody. As for the result; it is what it is.”