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MotoGP made a speedy return to action for the first of twenty-one rounds in 2024 at the Lusail International Circuit and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing attacked the Grand Prix of Qatar with considerable relish. Brad Binder qualified his KTM RC16 4th on the grid and flew to 2nd place in a close opening Sprint of the year.

Only two weeks after the second and final pre-season test at the Lusail International Circuit, MotoGP travelled back to Qatar, but this time with more intensity and purpose as the first of 21 Grands Prix in 2024 wound-up to speed.
Brad Binder and teammate Jack Miller began a campaign in which KTM were hoping to add to their win tally of seven trophies and better their standing of 2nd among the six brands on the grid. Positive signs emerged in the opening Free Practice with slithers of a second dividing the top fifteen. Rain lashed down to coat Lusail on Friday evening, rendering Practice redundant so Saturday’s first track session thus became key for the order for direct Q2 entry. Brad made the cut while Jack had to find a lap through Q1 to make sure he joined the South African.

Q2 took place on a breezy but sunny and warm afternoon in Qatar and Brad’s finest flyer was just 0.124 from Pole, allowing him to be 4th: the first slot of the second row of the grid. Darkness had fallen by the time of the 11-lap Sprint. Brad made a scorching start and then was typically bold in the first corners to shadow Jorge Martin. He plagued the leader all the way to the flag with half a second the difference at the finish line. The result represented Brad’s second Sprint podium in a row after taking the same ranking at Valencia in the 2023 finale.

Lusail, winner of the award for the best 2023 Grand Prix, will stage the first of the three races at 17.00 local time (15.00 CET) with Moto3 followed by Moto2 at 18.15 and then MotoGP at 20.00.

Brad Binder
4th in qualification, 2nd in the Sprint
“Today was great. It is always awesome to finish on the podium, especially the first race back. I tried so hard today. The pace was really strong in the first laps and I’m super-impressed with the gains we have made on entry and braking with the RC16. The bike is on another level…but we still have some work to do. The lap-times were unreal out there. It’s awesome to see and I think we’ll be in for a cool race tomorrow.”

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