Tough first QP of the year for Darryn


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider will start tomorrow from the seventh row of the grid after suffering a crash in qualifying for the Qatar GP.


The first qualifying session of the year did not go according to plan for Darryn Binder at the Losail International Circuit. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider took an important step forward in FP3, but was not able to build on that in qualifying –largely due to a crash on his last attempt at a hot lap. The twentieth position he earned today means he will start from the seventh row of the grid tomorrow.

The wind and the high track temperatures of up to 46ºC made it unviable for the Moto3 riders to lower their times from yesterday afternoon in FP3, but Darryn Binder continued taking steps forward and climbing positions on the timesheets. The South African went into the Top 5 for the first time this weekend with 10 minutes remaining, clocking a time of 2:09.036 that finally earned him twelfth place.

The first run in the QP allowed Binder to analyse the track conditions. It was after the first pit stop that the South African began to push hard onboard his KTM. On this series of laps he would set his best time of 2:08.202 –albeit still far off his best time from yesterday. Confident in being able to gain positions on his final stint, a harmless crash on the first sector unfortunately prevented any improvement.

The first race of the Moto3 World Championship season will begin tomorrow from 4:00pm local time –2pm CET. Last year Darryn Binder finished thirteenth in the Qatar GP after climbing 13 places during the race.


Results (Qualifying session)
1. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 2:06.364
2. Jorge Martin (Honda) 2:06.365 +0.001
3. Gabriel Rodrigo (KTM) 2:06.848 +0.484
4. Ayumu Sasaki (Honda) 2:07.043 +0.679
5. Kaito Toba (Honda) 2:07.048 +0.684
20. Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:08.202 +1.838


“After the first QP of the year, tomorrow we are going to start from 20th. The beginning of the qualifying session wasn’t anything like what we had expected. On the first stint I didn’t manage to do any good laps. When I came back to the box I went back out with a hard tyre and I achieved my fastest lap time. For the third stint we ran the medium soft tyre. I got ahead of myself on the last lap; I had several riders in front that I wanted to overtake and unfortunately I fell at Turn 2. Looking ahead to tomorrow, I think our pace is not bad, so we’ll go for it in the race and see how far we can go.”