On certainly a strange day in perhaps the strangest year ever of MotoGP racing, South African rider Brad Binder won the Brno MotoGP race with a margin of victory of five seconds. While some might want to apply an asterisk to Binder and KTM’s success, and suggest it’s just another once-a-decade-anomaly like Simon Crafer’s defeat of Mick Doohan at Donington in 1998 or when Troy Bayliss smoked the entire MotoGP field at Valencia in 2006, frankly this feels much more seismic than either of those events.
Binder and KTM’s success at Brno is fascinating from just about any angle. But consider these details:
That KTM rolls on a steel trellis frame. You remember steel–it’s that stuff that when you hang a magnet on it, the magnet will stick. No aluminum, no carbon, no F-1 derived materials on the base structure of the KTM. The next time you stroll the steel tube stock at your local home store consider that stuff is a lot closer to the frame under Binder than anything you can get your mortal hands on. That alone is amazing.
White Power suspension. Even HRC gave up on their own semi-in-house (Showa) suspension in MotoGP and signed on with Ohlins when they discovered that trying to do it in-house was a frustrating and resource-draining exercise, this for the most opulent team in Grand Prix. Was Sunday at Brno a unique day from a tire and suspension viewpoint? Possibly. But that KTM were able to win with WP suspension is something many thought was impossible.
There is now a phrase used to describe society and life in 2020: “the new normal”. Is KTM at the front and winning the new normal for MotoGP or is it just a bizarre day in Brno?
We will find out very soon.