Darryn Binder needs to show ‘a little more respect’ - GP champ Gardner Sr

Darryn Binder is accused of riding too aggressively on his MotoGP debut as Remy and Wayne Gardner opine he needs to adapt his Moto3 riding style

Remy Gardner, Darryn Binder

Darryn Binder may have caught attention with his gutsy ride to 16th in the Qatar MotoGP but he didn’t endear himself to the Gardners after being accused of lacking respect by 1987 500GP champion Wayne Gardner.

The South African rookie made his much scrutinised MotoGP debut at the Lusail International Circuit over the weekend, his first since making the unprecedented move straight from Moto3 to the premier class.

In what has been a troublesome transition for the RNF Yamaha rider, Binder had been comfortably slowest throughout pre-season testing, while he started his debut race in last position after crashing in Q1.

However, in race conditions he showed impressive fight, running ahead of ultra-experienced team-mate Andrea Dovizioso on the newer Yamaha M1 for a time before getting stuck into the fight for top rookie honours - and the final point - with Moto2 World Champion Remy Gardner.

Swapping between 15th and 16th to the flag, Tech 3 KTM rider Gardner eventually prevailed, albeit only by 0.012secs.

However, the Australian was somewhat aggrieved by Binder’s tactics on the Yamaha, which he likened to being ridden ‘like a monkey’.

“I think I need to meet up with Darryn and talk to him sometime. These are really not Moto3 bikes here. So he doesn't have to ride like a monkey."

"On the one hand, it's normal, because it was his first MotoGP race and he came straight from Moto3 to the MotoGP World Championship. But I hope things will get a little better in the future."

It was a view shared by Gardner’s esteemed father, who thought ‘a little more respect’ wouldn’t go amiss from the 24-year old.

“We didn't fight for victory in Doha, but more or less for last place. A little more respect would have been good."

Darryn Binder knuckles down in fine MotoGP debut

There might just be a hint of sour grapes emanating from the Gardner camp with regards to Binder.

The ‘monkey’ term - though followed by a laugh - from Remy distracts from the fact Binder was clearly riding out of his skin to make an impression on his debut having found himself further up the order than even he expected after the first few laps… and it nearly left the highly-rated Moto2 alumni looking rather embarrassed.

On a circuit where the Yamaha M1 struggled all round, Binder - despite some modest comments post-race - was a revelation, lapping only 0.5s slower than World Champion Fabio Quartararo and dicing with Dovizioso for a stretch of the race.

It has been a hard few months for Binder after his promotion to MotoGP drew harsh criticism from commentators and other riders, some of which urged the governing body to enforce a ‘superlicence’ to prevent such a mammoth Moto3 to MotoGP leap.

It didn’t help that he was lambasted for taking out Moto3 title contender Dennis Foggia at Portimao just as he was about to be confirmed at RNF, but his performance went a long way to proving those critiques were borne from a touch of hysteria.

To his credit, Binder has taken the pressure in his stride with aplomb - no doubt helped by some sage words from his brother Brad, who himself had a reputation for crashing into others in his first season - even if his nerves won’t have been helped by a crash in qualifying that left him plum last.

Nonetheless, he got his elbows out and while that may be to the chagrin of other rookies looking to keep their nose clean in an exceptionally high quality field this year, you can’t fault Binder for effort in the circumstances of his (unfairly and prematurely) tarnished reputation. 

Finishing just a blink shy of top rookie status shows the likes of Gardner et al. what can be achieved when it matters when you’re riding somewhat scorned…