Brad Binder looks ahead after finishing MotoGP season winless | The Citizen

Brad Binder helped salvage some joy for the South African sporting fraternity on an otherwise mostly dreadful weekend by almost snatching victory in the season final MotoGP race in Valencia on Sunday.

The day might have belonged to Italian Francesco Bagnaia, who was crowned premier class champion for the first time, but Binder came within a lap of what could have been his third MotoGP win.

After starting from seventh on the grid, the Red Bull KTM rider stormed through the field to finish a mere 0.396 seconds behind race winner Alex Rins.

Brad Binder almost snatches fifth

Had he secured the 25 points on offer for a win, Binder would have finished fifth in the title race, but the 20 points the South African earned for the runner-up spot to move up to 188 points saw him miss out on the top five by only one point.

Jack Miller, who started the race 21 points ahead of Binder, crashed out late in the race to remain stuck on 189 points.

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It was the first season Binder missed out on a win since his first season in Moto2 back in 2017. But his three runner-up finished did see him finish with the most podiums in a MotoGP season.

“I tried so hard today. I think it was the first season since I don’t know when in which I didnt have a win,” Binder said during a television interview after the race.

“I really, really wanted to win today and I fought so hard. In the beginning I got stuck and couldn’t get past many people.

“I have to thank my team for an amazing season, The best bike I had all year was the one today. I fought my hardest and I’m happy with second. Let’s pull for next season.”

Miller replaces Miguel Oliveira as Binder’s KTM team-mate next season.

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Disapointment for Darryn Binder

There was to be no fairy tale ending in Valencia for Brad Binder’s younger brother Darryn Binder.

The RNF Yamaha rider crashed out early in his last MotoGP race before moving down to Moto2 next season.

“I’m really upset and disappointed to finish my last Grand Prix weekend the way this one went,” Darryn Binder told his team’s website.

“It was probably the worst weekend of my year, but it is what is. It has been a cool year and I really enjoyed every moment of riding the MotoGP bike, and I can’t thank everybody enough who was part of this year with me and thanks for the great opportunity.

“I had an amazing team and they supported me all the way until the end and I am grateful to them and to everyone who supported me. I am now looking forward to my new adventure,” he concluded.

Darryn Binder finished in 24th place on 12 points.

Next year’s season starts on 26 March in Portugal.

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