The factory KTM rider started last weekend’s MotoGP of Aragon down in tenth place, however, Binder was already in fifth by the exit of turn one.
After latching on to the back of Francesco Bagnaia, Jack Miller and Enea Bastianini during the early stages – Binder then managed to keep pace with the Ducatis for much longer than was anticipated – he was eventually embroiled in a race-long battle with Miller and Aleix Espargaro for third.
Punishing his rear tyre to its extreme just to be in contention, Binder struggled more than the other two during the final five laps which resulted in Espargaro getting ahead on the penultimate lap.
And although Binder was left ‘disappointed’ not to claim third, it was another example of the former Moto3 world champion showing just how good he is.
“Really happy to get a good start and have a solid race where I was able to do my best [of the season] from beginning to end,” said Binder.
“Disappointed not to get a podium because I was in the top three for most of the race but I fought like hell in the last lap to get close and try and make a move but I just didn’t quite get close enough to try something.
“I’m really happy with the job we did and the team was able to give me the best bike I’ve had all weekend.
“I did a race without any mistakes but I just wasn’t fast enough. I think we have to be happy with the job we did and we just need to make that last step to try and run with the top boys.”
‘I don’t think I should have been that far forward’ – Binder
While it was a surprise to see Binder inside the top five after just one corner, seeing the KTM rider mix it with the Ducatis and Aprilia of Espargaro was even more impressive after it was not something that had been foreshadowed at any point throughout the weekend.
Asked why he began to struggle more than the others with the rear tyre, Binder stated: “I don’t think I should have been as far forward as I was.
“I really used my rear tyre and used the potential of it trying to go with the boys at the beginning and of course the last three laps – I tried a different map as well to take a little bit more advantage but it ended up pumping a lot and lost a lot of time two laps in a row.
“Then I went back to a map that was more protective and I could ride a little bit more clean again and faster again.
“I lost a lot of time in those two laps and it really hurt me in the long run, but yeah, in general I think we learnt a lot today.
“I felt comfortable on the bike, I felt really on the limit from lap one until the end. But we tried our best in the end. What else can we do?”
‘One of the best’ MotoGP riders – Binder reacts to Espargaro praise
So what did Binder make of the praise from the Spaniard: “It’s nice to hear! Well, f*ck! I tried my best honestly. I really struggled because we don’t turn as well as the others and because we miss a bit of turning.
“When I open the throttle we don’t get off the corner as well either. So I have to make it up somewhere and that means in the fast and flowing stuff I need to take a lot of risk with the front to make it back up. I tried my best and did a good job to come through the field.”