Yesterday afternoon, Yamaha announced that South African Moto3 star, and little brother of Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Darryn Binder, will be racing a Yamaha MotoGP bike in 2022. He’ll be partnering Andrea Dovizioso in the rebranded RNF MotoGP Team, Yamaha’s satellite squad.
Had Darryn spent the last two years racing in Moto2, this would be a big step. But he hasn’t. The long-haired 23 year old spent the last seven years racing in the Moto3 World Championship. So it’s not a big step, it’s an massive one. He’s going to have a lot to learn, and he’ll have to learn it fast.
There will be some that say spending seven years on a 50bhp Moto3 bike doesn’t really prepare you for a 250bhp MotoGP bike. It’d be like spending a few years riding round town on a moped, and then buying yourself a 200bhp R1. Sort of.
Except its not really like that at all. Yes, the difference in performance between a Moto3 bike and a MotoGP bike is astronomical. And yes, Darryn’s going to have to have his work cut out. But it’s not an impossible task. And don’t forget, the lad has spent a lot of years racing in a world championship (albeit on a small bike), so he knows the tracks, he knows the paddock but most importantly of all, he’s an absolute professional. And he’s got a team of absolute professionals around him.
There is absolutely no question that Darryn Binder can ride a bike. He’s won races at international level; he’s one of the best in the world. It’s not going to be a case of learning to ride a bike again, he just needs to adapt his skillset a little bit.
And we know it can be done. Take Jack Miller as a case in point. Miller spent four years in Moto3 (actually, one year in the 125cc World Championship, and then three in Moto3 but they’re ‘kind of’ the same thing), and then graduated straight to MotoGP in 2015, bypassing Moto2, like Darryn Binder. And look at him now, a regular podium finisher and occasional race winner. And in actual fact, it only took him a year and a half to win his first MotoGP race.
Anyone that’s seen Darryn Binder race a Moto3 bike in recent years will know the lad is an exceptional talent. He’s going to need more than a bit of talent to make a success of his MotoGP career, though; it’ll take hard work, lots of physical strength, and probably quite a bit of patience. But the RNF MotoGP team, Yamaha and Dorna obviously think he can make it work. So let’s see what happens.
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Company:
“I want to give a warm welcome to Darryn. We are delighted that he is joining the Yamaha line-up next year. We‘ve had many conversations about who would be a good match for the new RNF MotoGP Team set-up. It‘s a fresh start for the Yamaha satellite team and that makes it all the more fitting to have a young and eager rider like Darryn join them, as Fabio and Franky did before him.
“For Yamaha the primary mission of the satellite team is developing future MotoGP talents. Darryn has already shown on numerous occasions what he‘s made of in the Moto3 class. We know he is a fast and determined rider who has got what it takes to battle at the front of the pack. Obviously, the step up to MotoGP is significant and will take some adjusting, but we feel that he‘s ready, and Yamaha and the RNF MotoGP Team will fully support him for this new and exciting challenge.”
“I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity, as it has been a lifelong dream to race in the MotoGP category. I definitely didn’t expect to make the jump straight from Moto3 to the highest class, but I do believe I’m up for the challenge, and I‘m ready to put in all the hard work for 2022.
“My target at the beginning will be just to find my feet in the big class and learn as much as possible to get stronger and stronger throughout my rookie season. I would like to say a really big thank you to Yamaha and the RNF MotoGP Team for everything they have done to make this possible as well as everyone who has been involved in getting me to this point. I‘m now just looking forward to riding the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time at the end of this season.”