Brilliant second row for Darryn Binder at Thai GP


Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider equals his best Moto3 qualifying result with sixth place.

Darryn Binder made a breakthrough on Saturday that had excellent consequences for the South African at the Thai GP. Fourteenth on the timesheets on day one, improvements took him up to sixth in qualifying and a spot on the second row, matching his best ever grid position from the 2016 Australian GP.

For the third consecutive Free Practice session, Binder has continued to lower his lap times at the Chang International Circuit in the morning. Two consecutive personal best laps in the final minutes lifted him further up the timesheets, from just inside the Top 15 to ninth. His top time was a 1:42.911.

The track temperature rose to 59°C ahead of the start of qualifying. Inside the Top 15 in the first ten minutes of the session, it wasn’t until Binder had made a second stop in the garage that he provided a final push. On an all-or-nothing third stint which consisted of just a solitary hot lap, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider played his cards perfectly to clock a 1:42.799 and claim sixth.

Tomorrow, Darryn Binder will try to round off the great work done so far at the first ever Moto3 Thai GP. The South African will take the start at 11am local time -6am CEST.

Results (Qualifying Session)
1. Marco Bezzecchi (KTM) 1:42.235
2. Jaume Masia (KTM) 1:42.697 +0.462
3. Kazuki Masaki (KTM) 1:42.716 +0.481
4. Tony Arbolino (Honda) 1:42.720 +0.485
5. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:42.776 +0.541
6. Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.799 +0.564


“I am very happy with how this second day has gone here in Thailand. Yesterday afternoon I felt very comfortable and since this morning the feeling has been just as good. I felt strong and in qualifying I knew I just needed a great hot lap -and knew I could do it. This sixth position matches also my best ever result in a Grand Prix qualifying session. I feel ready for tomorrow’s race. I think we’ve worked hard enough over the weekend so far to get a great result.”