His move up to MotoGP, straight from the Moto3 category, has drawn some criticism, but what is clear is that Darryn Binder has impressed with his attitude since the start of the season. A modest rookie with modest expectations, he surprised with a few shots, particularly at his second Grand Prix in Indonesia where he finished tenth, and generally managed to stay out of trouble.
After experiencing what he described in Assen “most likely [son] hardest weekend”who struggled to find his rhythm on the Dutch circuit and ended up with a big crash in the race, the young South African was quick to put it into perspective: “That’s how it is. It’s my rookie season, I couldn’t expect much more from myself. I’m doing my best. I knew there were going to be some tougher weekends than others. That was one of them and unfortunately I did .” not get the most out of the race.”
“I really expected to finish those last two races a little bit stronger than me. I’m a bit disappointed with how I finished that first half. I feel like it was a little bit harder for me to prove myself. I had to I keep improving and I expected it to be easy, I just had to keep working, but when a weekend is that tough and I manage to take a step forward in the race, I don’t have to try to take two, I have to stick with one and try again the following week.”
Aware of being at the bottom of the list
Despite his disappointment at ending the first part of the championship with two retirements, Binder drew a positive balance of this racing series and saw himself above what could have been expected of him. With a 12th place in Barcelona on the points collected in Mandalika, he finds himself mathematically on par with his experienced teammate Andrea Dovizioso, without having to be particularly ashamed of his placement given the great difficulties of the Yamaha group, the only exception being Fabio Quartararo.
“There were ups and downs. I was pretty happy with the highs and I knew there would be lows.” he summed it up as he left Assen, revealing he was ready to accept any option for his future, including the possibility of seeing the doors of MotoGP close after just one season.
“I think the team didn’t expect much more than I did. Maybe I surprised them in a way because I think some people have had it harder than me.” he pointed out. “I’m doing my best, I’m just trying to make the best of the opportunity that’s been given to me and if it doesn’t work out I can still switch to Moto2 in the end and will still enjoy racing on the bike.”
The market is particularly turbulent in MotoGP this year, particularly due to the suspension of the Suzuki programme, resulting in the disappearance of two handlebars for 2023 and the transfer of two top riders. The RNF team, which has set foot in Darryn Binder’s stirrup, will switch manufacturers to team up with Aprilia and hope to increase its performance. Officially, his positions have yet to be filled, but there are many candidates.
“I expected to know,” he said, referring to his expectation of an answer regarding the follow-up that could be given to his presence in MotoGP. “Until now I thought I might have a chance to keep my spot, but at the same time I know there are more riders than bikes at the moment and I’m all for it. Apparently at the end of the list. So if there is an opportunity I would hope to know exactly what is going to happen now during this break. Of course, if that opportunity doesn’t exist, I’ll have to see what options I have in Moto2. That would be my priority.”
“Even if I find out I’m not staying, I’ll still enjoy this second half of the year,” promised Darryn Binder. “I feel like I still have a lot to show and I want to try to achieve my goals, mix with others and do good racing. I want to improve a little bit over the summer break, be a little bit sharper, a little bit stronger, then come back for the second half and keep getting closer.”
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