It wasn't an easy Sunday for Brad Binder in Catalunya. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team rider found himself involved in the violent highside suffered by Francesco Bagnaia immediately after the first start of the Grand Prix, ending up hitting the Ducati rider.
“It was a crazy couple of hours. I made a good start and slotted in between Maverick and Miguel between the first two corners. I saw nothing of what happened. By the time I saw something, it was the motorbike and him. And it was Miguel and I think Maverick, I was in the centre of these two. Not fun. I was hit by a piece of his motorbike and in an attempt to avoid it I caught it somewhere between my leg and foot, then my bike slid. It was difficult, but thank goodness I saw him move a little.”
It wasn't easy for Brad to lower his visor and line up for the restart, but the knowledge that Bagnaia was conscious helped him get back on the bike.
“The trickiest part is to just get back on and carry on. The good thing is I saw him move, and I knew I’d just clipped his leg. Or legs. I don’t quite know. But I knew I got over enough to make sure at least I never hit him square. At the end of the day it’s every rider’s worst nightmare – to see someone there is scary, but to be the one who hits them is even more shit, to be honest. I’m just really glad that, OK, I don’t know if he’s OK-OK, but he’s fine – you know what I mean? I went to see him at the medical centre, and he seemed 100%, I just don’t know if he maybe has something with his leg or legs.” said Brad, who went to the medical centre immediately after the race to check on Bagnaia.
Despite the KTM rider's good will, his GP at Montmeló only lasted a few kilometres, due to a mechanical problem that arose immediately after the restart, which prevented him from making up points in the championship.
“When the race started again I didn't have another hard, so I had to fit a Q tyre on the front. The start wasn't bad, I tried to get it up to temperature and then I had a mechanical problem, because I think something from Pecco's motorbike was stuck in my intercooler before I hit him. Honestly, when I walked in there, I wasn’t expecting to see him chilling. I must be quite honest. And he seemed OK - said Brad - My only priority today is that I never hurt anybody – well, of course I hurt him, but not hurt-hurt. And it is what it is.”
Speaking about the chaos at the start, triggered by Enea Bastianini, the South African then added: “I have no idea what happened. The fact is that the lines are very narrow in Turn 1 in Barcelona and the risk is to end up touching each other. This is the problem at the start. I don't think anything would change if the curve were longer or shorter, because it really depends on its character."