Dani Pedrosa takes impressive 4th place in the #SanMarinoGP – Binder 14th, Miller DNF
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s three-pronged attack on the Gran Premio Red Bull di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini resulted in Dani Pedrosa playing another starring role as he steered the KTM RC16 to the top four after 27 hot and hectic laps at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Brad Binder recovered from an early crash to finish 14th but Jack Miller did not make it to the flag.
The shallow grassy banks of the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli filled with 79,000 spectators on Sunday for the twelfth round of MotoGP and the second Grand Prix weekend rush in a row. Red Bull KTM watched Dani Pedrosa join the action with the latest race-spec version of the KTM RC16 and improve on his performance from his previous wildcard appearance in Jerez (6th in the Sprint, 7th in the race) by running at the top of the time sheets on Friday and sealing 4th position on Saturday.
Sunday’s 27-lap main event was held in sunny conditions and near 30-degree temperatures as decent summer weather continued to bathe Misano on Italy’s northeast coast. Pedrosa, Brad Binder and Jack Miller began the race from 5th, 7th and 18th respectively on the grid and both Pedrosa and Binder were quickly into the top five around the grippy, 16-corner layout. Miller concentrated on making progress from the sixth row.
Binder was charging hard in 4th and narrowing the gap to the three-rider fight for the podium when he lost traction and crashed in Turn 14 during the early stages. He was able to remount and reach the flag in 14th for two points. A lap later Miller was hit out at Turn 4.
Pedrosa was in the top five from the off. With the slip by Brad, Dani was able to gain ground to the leaders. He launched a sustained bid to snatch a first rostrum result in six years and for the seventh time at Misano. He came close to passing world champion Francesco Bagnaia and the gap was only half a second at the finish line.
The world championship standings hold Brad Binder in 4th with 173 points and needing 45 more to breach the top three. Miller is 10th and Pedrosa has accrued enough to sit 18th in the table of 29 riders. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing is the 5th best team currently and KTM are 2nd in the Constructors’ listing.
The first ever Indian Grand Prix, taking place at the Buddh International Circuit, will occur on September 23rd-24th.
Dani Pedrosa, 4th:
“I had a few problems in the first laps because the rear tire wasn’t heating up quick enough for me, especially on the left side and I had a few scares. I had to be patient and started to build the rhythm after three-four laps. After Brad crashed I saw the group ahead was not getting away from me, so I thought ‘let’s give everything and try to catch them’. When I was very close I had another ‘moment’ and nearly went flying. The gap grew and shrunk until Pecco was struggling on the last laps. I had another go because the bike was working really well. Overall, close to the podium again but I want to thank the team for all their work. I’m happy. It was great to be here and to have the opportunity to go for the podium. I don’t think I’ve been quite so pleased with a 4th place! Our work yesterday and today has helped us to learn a lot and to continue improving.”
Brad Binder, 14th:
“To be honest in both races we have been fast. Yesterday I had an issue at the start and was able to catch-up, which was really good. Then today I improved and was feeling great but it looks like I had a little bit more [lean] angle in Turn 14 and it was enough to lose the front. After that it was a very long 20 laps with some of the aero gone. There are positives to take from today but sorry to the guys in my team for losing a good opportunity.”
Jack Miller, DNF:
“I got a semi-decent start and was doing my best to stick with the group in front. I felt like my pace was getting better and better as the race went on but then I was sucker-punched. I couldn’t do too much about it. The test tomorrow should be an important day for us and has come at a good time. I will be happy to spend more time on the bike to understand some things and get some confidence back.”