Binder takes StyrianGP sixth after slick tyre gamble
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Moto3 riders Darryn Binder sixth and John McPhee 13th at Spielberg
The second half of the 2021 season kicked off with the Moto3 race at a damp Spielberg today for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Moto3 riders. After taking a gamble on slick tyres, due to the appearance of a dry line in places, Darryn Binder and John McPhee ended the StyrianGP sixth and 13th respectively.
Binder found himself losing positions at the beginning of the race, having opted for slicks, and dropped from eighth to 17th in the opening laps. With a large amount of wet areas on track, the South African found himself slipping away from the leading group. Able to start lapping faster than the leaders in the final stages, Darryn moved into the top-ten on lap 16 and was able to end the StyrianGP in sixth. This sees him stay sixth in the World Championship with 79 points.
“It was an exciting race! It was hard to make a decision on the grid because we wanted to gamble a little bit and we thought it would dry a little faster than it did. It was drying and I think we made the right decision in using the slicks, but it just didn’t dry fast enough. Both Darryn and John did an amazing job, especially in the difficult conditions at the beginning. They managed to stay on the bike and, in the end, finishing sixth and 13th is a good result. Hats off to both of them for riding like they did in these conditions. It also looked like they had fun out there. I think if there had been a few more laps Darryn would have caught the top-three and John would have been top-ten.” – Johan Stigefelt, Team Director
Echoing his team-mate with slicks tyres on his Moto3 machine, McPhee also lost positions off the line, finding himself 19th after contact on the opening lap – after starting 11th. Despite damage to his bike, the Scot was able to hold his place on track, before starting to increase his pace at the halfway point. Battling hard to make his way through the field, John was able to start claiming places in the closing stages and crossed the line inside the points in 13th. With a total of 40 points, McPhee now sits 14th in the riders’ standings.
“I’m pretty happy and quite proud of myself. I took the gamble because my Dad always told me: ‘luck favours the brave’ and I was pretty set on slicks. I had nothing to lose by doing it and the decision was easy. The only thing I regret is that I couldn’t make it to the top-five, because that’s what my target is for each race. Apart from that, I’m happy. If the race had started ten minutes later it might have been a different story, as the race was really coming to me at the end. It didn’t completely pay off but we live and learn. It was a good race and I enjoyed myself.” – Darryn Binder, 6th (+20.534)
“It was definitely a gamble going with the slick tyres but we thought it might have paid off. If there were an extra few laps or the race had started later it would have worked. We had to take a risk because I know it can work, I was on the podium in 2019 here in similar conditions. It was a shame not to be able to capitalise on it but things were tricky after contact with another rider early on meant that I broke my fairing and lost my rear brake. I was struggling a bit after that but I had fun out there; it was good to get a couple of points and I’m looking forward to doing it again next week.” – John McPhee, 13th (+36.665)
Binder and McPhee will be back out on the Spielberg circuit in only a few day’s time, when the Grand Prix von Österreich gets underway (13-15 August).