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WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Debuts at the Losail International Circuit

WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Debuts at the Losail International Circuit

Andrea Dovizioso scored at the first Grand Prix of the season, while Darryn Binder nearly won the rookie battle in his first MotoGP.

WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team‘s Andrea Dovizioso crossed the finish line of the Qatar GP in P14. The Italian experienced a tricky Qualifying yesterday, which made him start the race just in 20th position. With a decent launch off the line, he made up several positions but couldn’t find a strong rhythm right away and went back to P22 on lap five. Yet, he managed to speed up in the course of the race and made up several positions until he reached the points in lap 12 and setting a personal best lap time of the race in lap 13. He used his experience to fight until the end and eventually saw the flag in 14th.

On the other hand, Darryn Binder delivered an impressive premier class debut in Qatar. After jumping straight from Moto3 to MotoGP, he made a rookie mistake in Qualifying and started last. He pushed right from the word go to make up places, finding himself inside the top 20 on lap seven and making up more and more ground. He was leading the battle of the rookies for several laps in a very strong way, fighting for his first MotoGP point, but finally missed out on it by just 0.012 seconds. 

Now the entire WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team is excited to head over to Indonesia to compete at the inaugural Grand Prix at the Mandalika Circuit in less than two weeks’ time.

Andrea Dovizioso

“I can’t be happy. At the beginning of the race, I was gaining some positions, but I had a problem with the front pressure, I couldn’t stop the bike, I almost crashed three times and I went out from the track two times. I was losing a lot, but after that when I was alone the pressure becomes acceptable and I was able to push again and start to do a normal lap time. But anyway, my speed is still not good, you have to ride the bike in a specific way or you will use even more of the tyre, even if you are not that fast also. I can’t be satisfied about that, so we have to study and try to understand what we have to do.”

Darryn Binder

“We finished off the first race in Qatar and overall I’m quite happy. It’s been a difficult weekend with loads of learning curve, there’s not a lot of time in a race weekend to get everything together. Yesterday in the Qualifying I messed up, so today I just wanted to take it step by step and learn as much as I could. I got off to quite an ok start, I was pretty fast in the beginning, so I was making some passes and I was pushing too much for a couple of laps. By lap five I needed to take a step back and find my feet because I had a long race ahead of me. I had a nice battle with Remy (Gardner), I really enjoyed fighting with the rookies, I learned so much throughout the race and by the end, I really wanted to fight for 15th, for the point, but I just missed out. Overall, at least I finished the race, I got 22 laps under my belt now, I know what to expect for next weekend and try again.“

Razlan Razali

Founder and Team Principal, WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Racing Team

“I think it was a good race day for us. We are extremely happy with what Darryn has done to be fighting with all the rookies and losing out to Remy, who is the Moto2 World Champion. While having a point would have been nice, but the experience of finishing this race battling with the other rookies is much more valuable than that one point. There is more potential in what Darryn can do in the upcoming races. With Andrea, he needs to find ways to do better. Already from the feedback that he has given, there’s room for him to improve in the next races. In general we’re happy to be finishing this weekend with some points, we look forward for the next race.“

Wilco Zeelenberg

Team Manger, WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Racing Team

“Round one is in the books and I’m happily surprised by the performance of Darryn. Of course, it’s not easy as the ‘rookie of the rookies’ to start a race like this, but he did quite well. He had a good start and he fought with the other newcomers, so he learned a lot. We missed the points, but only to get beaten by Remy, who is the World Champion in Moto2. We will fight more with these boys and this is our aim. Andrea struggled quite a bit with stopping and turning in the beginning of the race when the group was together. His front tyre didn’t feel really well, he didn’t have the grip and as soon as he came back he was able to do ’55s but that was not enough. He came back to fight and to perform, we will discover what we can improve and come back stronger.“