It’s the journey, not the destination, right? When 24-year-old South African Darryn Binder made the daunting transfer from the Moto3 category (250cc motorcycles) straight into the premier class of MotoGP (1000cc fire-breathers that reach speeds greater than 225mph) for 2022 he wasn’t so much entering the deep-end but rather ‘divebombing’ from a clifftop. We tagged along for the ride.
From his worries over the transition, to training at home in Andorra to that sizzling debut in Qatar, moments of doubt over speed and finally elbowing his way into the premier class with aplomb; ‘Fast Track’ was there for the first thoughts and emotions. Like Darryn himself; ‘Fast Track’ quickly gets to the point.
The 2022 saddle with WithU Yamaha RNF was a case of right place, right opportunity, right choice for the talented and likeable youngster who had already cast his name firmly in the bracket of ‘one to watch’. Binder’s brave move with the crew that had already given career highs to Monster Energy Yamaha pairing Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli meant that he bounced straight out of the intense and often wacky closeness of the Moto3 gaggle into a blurred contest that splits the best riders in the world by hundredths of a second.
His leapfrog over the intermediate Moto2 division is a tactic that has been undertaken by just one other rider in the history of the current Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP structure. In terms of learning and acclimatisation, Binder was the fifth and final rookie on the 2022 grid with the tallest mountain at his gate.
“I knew it was going to be tough…but this is all I wanted to do,” he offered-up. “The speed from Moto3 to MotoGP is insane. From day-to-day I felt like I was starting at zero again! It took a couple of days to get used to that and then learn everything. There are so many electronics…also, it is one thing to be fit and strong but it’s another to be riding fit.”