MotoGP scorched around one of the fastest and most picturesque race circuits in the world for round six of twenty in 2023 and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing were lively players for the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley. Brad Binder and Jack Miller rocketed their record-breaking KTM RC16 to 5th and 7th respectively at a sunny Mugello.
Thankfully, the heavy Italian rainfall that coated Mugello late on Saturday afternoon had dissipated for race day and as the popular Tuscan venue welcomed the best attendance of the weekend. Less than 24hrs after blazing to record-breaking feats along the sweeping 1.1km straight, Red Bull KTM took to the track with Jack Miller in the centre of the second row of the starting grid (5th) and with Brad Binder in the 10th slot.
Across 23 laps it was Binder who was able to move through the order, and after the initial cut and thrust of action where Miller was a protagonist. The South African circulated just out of reach of the tussle for the final spot of the podium but Brad’s 5th represented his second-best classification of the year. Jack had his hands full in a duel for 7th but made sure of the position.
Binder gained 11 points to hold 4th and now with a margin of 15 to 3rd spot. Miller is 7th. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing are currently the 3rd best team, according to the 2023 rankings, and the manufacturer lies 2nd in the Constructors table.
From pace and power to tight turns: the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland takes MotoGP to the popular and populated Sachsenring for round seven of the championship next weekend.
Brad Binder, 5th: “Quite happy with 5th place today considering we started in 10th but we want more! We had a stronger main race today compared to the Sprint yesterday where we lost the opportunity to make more points. I would say our highlight of the weekend is the fact that our guys have built a rocket! It’s working well and we cannot argue with the top speed. Going forward we have some small details to work on and I think we’ll be stronger than what we were today.”
Jack Miller, 7th: “Somewhat satisfied but wanting more. The bike was working well all weekend, we had another decent start today but we were just missing a bit of pace at the beginning compared to the other boys. Around mid-race the gap stabilized and I felt like I was getting more and more comfortable. 7th and ten seconds away from the win meant decent points. Looking forward to Sachsenring already.”
Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “There was a lot of expectation around this GP because we know that Mugello is a very special track and it is very demanding. We were keen to get here and to understand where we are with our current race package. Brad’s 5th place was not bad but our expectations are higher. Still, the top five is our target every race. Jack did a good job today but said he lacked some feeling on the track from the start and couldn’t push as he wanted. Overall, the achievement of the top speed record is in the books. Let’s go to Sachsenring with a lot of confidence. We’ll be on track again very soon and hoping for good results.”
Results MotoGP Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati 41:16.863
2. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati +1.067
3. Johann Zarco (FRA) Ducati +1.977
5. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +8.925
7. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +10.999
World championship standings MotoGP
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati, 131 points
2. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati, 110
3. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati 107
4. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 92
7. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 62