Two penalties in two days cost Binder two podiums

Binder rode to two thirds in Assen, but was stripped of both in separate incidents. Image: MotoGP

Crestfallen South African rider Brad Binder said he was ‘extremely sorry’ for his Red Bull KTM team after a track limits penalty cost him a podium for the second time over the weekend in the Dutch Grand Prix at Assen.

Binder was denied a podium in the Sprint race on Saturday after an infraction at Turn 8, dropping to fifth in the classification after receiving a three-second Long Lap equivalent penalty, gifting third to Fabio Quartararo.

He then made the same error at the exact same part of the circuit on the last lap of the main race and was demoted one position, with Aleix Espargaro inheriting third.

It was a disappointing conclusion to the weekend for the factory KTM rider, who will now have to wait until round nine of the MotoGP World Championship Silverstone in August following the summer break for the chance to make amends.

“I am extremely sorry to my team because I took away two podiums from them,” Binder said.

“They’ve done a great job and put in a huge effort. I’m sorry to mess it up like that for them, but it is what it is, and I’ll try to make up for it at Silverstone.

“The thing is, the rules are the rules. I feel like brain-dead to do it again.”

Binder said he did not realise he had run into the green exclusion zone as he battled to keep Aprilia’s Espargaro at bay on the last lap.

“Again on the last lap, I didn’t even know I had touched it. We got to Turn 1 and Aleix was pointing at the green. Then I was just like, ‘okay, whatever.’

“Then I saw it on the TV and thought, ‘how did I do that again?’

“I went over by a couple of millimetres again but it is what it is. End of story.”

Binder made a blistering start to the race from the second row and led into the first corner, passing eventual winner Francesco Bagnaia on the brakes.

He lost the position to the Ducati rider and later dropped to third when runner-up Marco Bezzecchi came past, but Binder rode an excellent race to cross the line in third, making his soft rear tyre last the entire 26-lap distance.

“We decided to go with the soft rear and try to make it to the end,” he said.

“I had an unreal start, then my priority was to look after the right side of the tyre and I almost made it. But in the last two laps I had a really big drop.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever been able to go softer than anybody else on the rear and make it to the end,” he added.

“That’s not my strongest point as a rider, so I’m proud of that small accomplishment.

“But it would have been nice to have two podiums for sure.”

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