Having broken the Motegi lap record on Friday's practice for the Japanese MotoGP, Brad Binder was optimistic about KTM's new carbon fibre MotoGP chassis. Test rider Dani Pedrosa's impressive performance on KTM's new carbon fibre frame at the San Marino GP earlier this month gained the Austrian company a lot of attention. The 31-time MotoGP champion came fourth during the sprint and the main race at Misano, where the new frame was tested on Monday by the racing riders. On Friday during the Japanese GP, Binder and Jack Miller rode the chassis, with the former topping second practice with a lap time of 1 minute, 43.489 seconds, eight years after the previous record had been set. The South African claims to have received the rear grip from KTM that he had been asking for, but he is "cautious" about the improvements.
MotoGP Japanese GP: Practice 2 Result
With Jorge Martin and Marco Bezzecchi also securing top 10 finishes on Friday, Sunday's race at Motegi will be a close one to watch. The Prima Pramac rider topped the morning and afternoon timesheets before riders threw on soft tyres in an attempt to get a hot lap during the frantic final moments to enter the Q2 session.
The performance of Fabio Di Giannantonio of Gresini Racing was also noteworthy. In addition, Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3), who finished the day with the ninth-fastest time behind Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) and Maverick Viales (Aprilia Racing), will also compete directly in Q2 for the first time in 2023.
|1||Brad Binder||Red Bull KTM||1:43.489s|
|2||Francesco Bagnaia||Ducati Lenovo||+0.029s|
|3||Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia Racing||+0.295s|
|4||Jorge Martin||Pramac Ducati||+0.354s|
|5||Marco Bezzecchi||Mooney VR46 Ducati||+0.456s|
|6||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Gresini Ducati||+0.458s|
|7||Johann Zarco||Pramac Ducati||+0.573s|
|8||Maverick Viñales||Aprilia Racing||+0.628s|
|9||Pol Espargaro||Tech3 GASGAS||+0.730s|
|10||Jack Miller||Red Bull KTM||+0.772s|
|11||Miguel Oliveira||RNF Aprilia||+0.828s|
|12||Joan Mir||Repsol Honda||+0.939s|
|13||Fabio Quartararo||Monster Yamaha||+1.031s|
|14||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda||+1.085s|
|15||Franco Morbidelli||Monster Yamaha||+1.168s|
|16||Cal Crutchlow||Yamalube RS4GP||+1.220s|
|17||Raul Fernandez||RNF Aprilia||+1.322s|
|18||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda||+1.439s|
|19||Augusto Fernandez||Tech3 GASGAS||+1.742s|
|20||Michele Pirro||Ducati Lenovo||+2.377s|
|21||Alex Rins||LCR Honda||+3.747s|
MotoGP Japanese GP: Binder’s New Motegi Time Record
On Friday of MotoGP practice in Japan, KTM's Brad Binder set the pace by breaking Jorge Lorenzo's 2015 lap record, followed by Francesco Bagnaia and Aleix Espargaro. Today, Binder, like his teammate Jack Miller, had access to the carbon fibre chassis. KTM's new carbon fibre chassis made its racing debut at the San Marino GP with wild card Dani Pedrosa and then was shipped to Japan for use by factory riders.
At the end of the second practice session, Binder went quickest of all with a 1:43.489s on the soft rear tyre, breaking Jorge Lorenzo's eight-year-old lap record. The new chassis on the RC16 provides more rear grip.
The focus of MotoGP development in recent years has been on aero and ride height devices, but the chassis appears to be the next battleground, especially if the regulations for aero and RHDs are tightened in the upcoming seasons.