Darryn Binder contests first day of Qatar GP


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider cuts his FP1 time by almost three seconds in FP2, to finish nineteenth.


The Moto3 2018 World Championship kicked off this Friday at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, with the first free practice sessions of the year. Darryn Binder struggled in the first session, even suffering a crash, but bounced back in FP2. His best time of 2:07.707 placed him nineteenth on the combined timesheet for the first day.

The time changes for this edition of the Qatar GP meant Moto3 FP1 took place in daylight, with track temperatures of 47ºC. It was not an easy first 40 minutes for Darryn Binder, who crashed 9 minutes in and had to return to the garage. A quarter of an hour later, thanks to a great job done by his crew, he was back out on track and set a best time of 2:10.497 for 28th place.

Knowing that his times were far from reflective of his potential, the South African was ready to take a step forward in FP2, lowering his FP1 time on only his second lap. After a trip back to the pits, he clocked a top time of 2:07.707, which placed him provisionally in sixth place. At the end of the 40 minutes and with the floodlights of the circuit turned on, that time put him in nineteenth.

Tomorrow from 4.45pm local time -2:45pm CET- the first pole position of the year will be decided. Last year the qualifying session was canceled due to rain.


Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Jorge Martin (Honda) 2:05:590
2. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 2:06.252 +0.662
3. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 2:06.265 +0.675
4. Gabriel Rodrigo (KTM) 2:06.422 +0.832
5. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Honda) 2:06.459 +0.869
19. Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:07.707 +2.117


“It has not been our best first day of a Grand Prix. Obviously nobody likes to start the Qatar GP as we have done, with a crash on the third lap of FP1, but unfortunately this is racing and it comes with the sport. In FP2 it was a completely different story. The good feeling with the bike started to come and I felt that we were beginning to approach where we should be. I am sure that if we make another step forward tomorrow, little by little everything will go better and our times will be significantly lowered.”