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‘Smiling’ Darryn Binder finds out what 250cc Moto3 to 1000cc MotoGP feels like

Darryn Binder gets his first taste of 1000cc MotoGP machinery as the Moto3 race winner made his class debut in testing with the RNF Yamaha team

Darryn Binder - RNF Yamaha


Darryn Binder says he was wearing a ‘smile all day’ as he found out what going from a 250cc Moto3 motorcycle to a full-fat 220mph+ 1000cc MotoGP machine felt like during his first test on the WithU RNF Yamaha M1 at Jerez.

Binder was one of the star attractions in Spain as the countdown to the 2022 MotoGP World Championship begun in earnest with the first of two days post-season testing kicking off days after the 2021 finale in Valencia.

A first chance for the rookies to begin preparations for their premier class debuts, Binder is one of five newcomers making the step, together with Remy Gardner, Raul Fernandez (Tech 3 KTM), Fabio di Giannantonio (Gresini Ducati) and Marco Bezzecchi.

Of the quintet though it is Binder courting the most attention having been controversially selected to move straight from Moto3 into MotoGP, becoming only the second person to do so after Jack Miller in 2015.

While many have questioned the wisdom of hiring Binder specifically given his modest success in the novice class - more so after his infamous run in with Dennis Foggia in Portimao - this was nonetheless his moment in the spotlight in his attempts to prove the doubters wrong.

Darryn Binder - WithU Yamaha

Perhaps understandably, it was a low key start for the South African - brother of KTM MotoGP rider Brad Binder - with the 27th and slowest recorded time. Ending up 4.7secs off the top spot and a second behind next slowest rookie Bezzecchi, he was simply pleased to get out on track finally.

"It's been a really awesome day for me," he said.  "It's a dream to jump on a MotoGP bike, today I got my first chance and just started off really slowly, step-by-step, and it's incredible the power!

"I had a smile on my face all day. It was going good, unfortunately we didn't complete as many laps as I would have liked.

"We had some little issues with the bike and also with the temperatures, that's the main problem, we can't start too early and you can't ride too late. So I'd rather play it safe and go when the temperatures are good!

"But we're taking it step-by-step, just going slowly. The bike feels really, really nice to ride, it's just to get used to the power and then learn as much as possible how to ride this kind of bike."

Darryn Binder - RNF Yamaha

Adapting to MotoGP, Yamaha... and wheelieing down the straight

Binder, who will ride a hybrid year-old Yamaha M1 fitted with a selection of 2022-spec parts, says he felt no fear despite massive power boost now at his fingertips.

"Honesty at the end of the day it's still just a motorcycle, of course the brakes are special and the power is insane, but when you get scared you close the throttle! So it's under your control at the end of the day.

"It’s just that I think today was a little bit extra tricky with the wind. I'm not used to a bike wheelieing down the whole straight and when it starts to wheelie and the wind catches you it can be a bit tricky to keep going in a straight line!"

"Right now, it's just put in tyres and fuel, doing laps. Not fiddling with the set-up at all and I'm not using the ride-height device or any of these things. I'm just going out there, riding.

"I come in and 'that was great! That felt awesome! Thanks guys let's go again!' Hopefully tomorrow we can do a few more [laps than today] and just get faster and faster. That's the goal.”