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MotoGP, Binder: "Is the Yamaha M1 an easy bike?” It’s a beast."

VIDEO - "I trained with an R1, but a MotoGP is something else entirely. It's so powerful, you have to hang onto to it. What’s my goal? Simply to learn."  

MotoGP, Binder: "Is the Yamaha M1 an easy bike?” It’s a beast."

Of all rookies, Darryn Binder is the one with the most work to do. The leap he took from the Moto3 to the MotoGP is huge, and the South African rider has a steep mountain ahead of him to climb . As much as he trained in the winter on a Yamaha R1, his M1 from the WithU RNF team is just something else thing to tame.

Binder knows this well and is tackling his journey step by step, as he told us in the video interview you can see above.

We are at the end of the second day of the shakedown. What is your feeling on this track. It’s very demanding, on the physical side?
 "It’s been really hot and humid, especially today, even more than yesterday. Riding the  MotoGP bike is a lot more physical than the Moto3, for sure. I took the winter, I used the R1 to try and adjust, to get used to the heavier bike but, unfortunately, the power is just not the same. Riding the GP bike is a lot more demanding. We just have to take it step by step, lap by lap, and listen to the body. As much as I want to do a hundred laps in a day but, unfortunately, that's not possible,” he said laughing. “I think that, after these three days, when we have the two days to recover, we have two days to rest a little bit and come back again. I think then I’ll slowly build up and get more used to this bike."

Your first contact with the MotoGP was in Jerez. Sepang is a different track. How different is the feeling on the M1 on the track?
 "It’s nice. Jerez is a smaller track, so it's really difficult to really use this power, whereas here, with the long straights,  you full gas a lot longer, so you actually really get to the higher top speed. With the heat and stuff, it feels a little bit more calm, because you have a little bit of time to rest and enjoy the speed whereas, in Jerez, it’s flat-out, break, flat-out, break. So, it's been really nice, and I'm really enjoying it, and I'm super happy."

Many describe the M1 as an easy bike. I can’t imagine how a MotoGP can be easy. Is it for you?
 "I don't think any MotoGP bike can really be easy. Maybe, if you’re comparing them all but, for me, knowing nothing, arriving to ride this bike… it's a beast. The power in this. You really have to hang onto this bike. I wouldn't say it's easy,” he laughed.

What is the most difficult area to manage for a rookie like you?
 "Right now, the most difficult  thing is just to try and learn and understand what I need to do to change my riding style, what I need to make this bike work. One of the tough things is, you have a lot of  power and, if you open the throttle too aggressive, and you start to spin, you’re really just losing time. So, just to understand how to pick up the bike, how do you lay the power down on the track… a lot to do with the banking. Picking the  bike up in the right way, putting it into a corner in the right way. Step by step, I’m trying to learn, but this takes time. The team obviously explained everything to me, but to get it into my head and be able to apply it on the track, it’s going to take some time. Step by step, as long as I’m improving every day, I’m  happy.”

Do you have to completely forget the Moto3, like no point of contact between the two bikes?
 "One thing you can still keep from Moto3, and maybe more so riding a Yamaha, is keeping a little bit of corner speed, as you do in Moto3, because the bike’s a lot slower, on the Yamaha, I think it’s good to keep a bit of corner speed."

Saturday and Sunday will be the official tests with all the other riders and Dovizioso too at the other side of your box. How can it be useful to have him at your side?
 "It’s going to be great to have someone with  a lot of experience. Let’s say there’s a certain part I’m struggling with, I can just ask him if he feels the same way, then we can understand whether it’s the track or whether it’s me, and what I need to do to sort out that area. I look forward to having Dovi in the box, and sharing it with him, and I hope that I can work with him and learn a lot from him.”

What is the plan for the next few days?
 "Right now, the plan is the same every day. I arrive and try and learn as much as possible, try and keep moving forward, just gaining a little bit, not doing anything too crazy. I just want to progress each day. Just figure things out and learn as much as I can.

 And stay in front of your brother ...
 “Yeah, it would be lovely to say in front of my brother, but I’m going to give it a little bit of time. I need some time to adjust."

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Translated by Leila Myftija

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