San Marino and another Italian audience for 2022 MotoGP witnessed Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder steers the KTM RC16 to 8th position under clear blue skies at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for the Gran Premio Gryfyn di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.
Warm but damp weather coated the final Free Practice sessions and Qualification at Misano on Saturday where Miguel Oliveira was the most advanced KTM rider on the MotoGP grid in 10th place. Brad Binder was not far behind in 15th and both launched strongly as the 27-lap dash got underway in a significantly better climate and higher temperatures.
After a chaotic start through the tight first corners, the teammates ran close together on the edge of the top ten. In the final stages of the long distance, Binder was able to conserve more of his tire to pull ahead and found himself isolated in 8th with little chance of making it to 7th or facing demotion. Oliveira was hamstrung by a Long Lap penalty in the final two circulations for exceeding track limits and passed the checkered flag in 11th.
Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner rounded Misano for the first time on MotoGP machinery and took their Tech3 KTM Factory Racing RC16s to 13th and 19th respectively. For Fernandez in particular this was his second-best result of the season.
MotoGP now opens the throttle for a two-day test on Tuesday and Wednesday at Misano before heading to Spain for the third time this year. The Gran Premio Animoca Brands de Aragón will draw the series to the MotorLand Aragon circuit near Alcañiz on September 17-18.
Brad Binder: “I gave my best from beginning to end and it was a dramatic first few laps. On the second or the third one I was stuck behind someone else who crashed and I was so lucky I didn’t go down. I was able to carry on and push as hard as I could. We did our best and 8th was all we could do today. I want to say thank you to the guys again because the best version of the bike was again available to me in the race. We tried a lot of different things and we got some great information. Hopefully that will also lead to some positive steps this week as well.”
Miguel Oliveira: “A long race and very tough one. I had issues at the beginning getting the left side of the tire working; some worrying moments. Sector 3 was a problem-spot all weekend for me and I was pushing the limits. The Long Lap penalty was not ideal but, overall, not a bad Grand Prix.”
Raul Fernandez: “It was the race that I expected and we did a good job with race pace. All the weekend we worked with the medium tire really well, and I felt quite good today. Honestly, it was hard work because when I followed another bike it was quite difficult to manage the temperature but, anyway, I'm really happy. I think we made a step and I think now we can continue on this line, and try to end the remaining races in the top fifteen.”
Remy Gardner: “It was a tough weekend and race. I had a rather good start and found myself within the Top 15 from P24, with a good race pace. I then had a Long Lap penalty so I lost the rhythm and positions to finish in P19. We have a test here now and I am hoping that we will be able to improve a few things so we can try to finish the season well.”
Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “We were going a bit better than last year – seven seconds quicker over full race distance – even though we are not completely happy with the positions. We have to take the positives; the race overall was five seconds faster than 2021. We have made a little step but it is not quite enough. We’re going in the right direction and we want to recover more ground. Improvement is coming and this is important. We will have two days testing now, with the test team also with some new material, and in testing conditions instead of race conditions. We hope to go to Aragon and achieve something better than Misano.”
Results MotoGP Gran Premio Gryfyn di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA), Ducati 41:43.199
2. Enea Bastianini (ITA) Ducati +0.034
3. Maverick Viñales (ESP), Aprilia +4.212
4. Luca Marini (ITA), Ducati +5.283
5. Fabio Quartararo (FRA) Yamaha +5.771
8. Brad Binder (RSA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +14.661
11. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +23.685
13. Raul Fernandez (ESP), Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +30.433
19. Remy Gardner (AUS), Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +56.613