Binder tests Yamaha, may get 2021 MotoGP debut after Dixon - The Race

Binder tests Yamaha, may get 2021 MotoGP debut after Dixon

Aug 18 2021
By Simon Patterson

Petronas SRT Moto2 rider Jake Dixon’s chances of racing a MotoGP bike at his home race next month looks set to be ever-increasing, and his debut could then be followed by one for Darryn Binder.

Aug 16 : Austrian GP's dramatic finish and more Vinales news

Movements at Yamaha look all but certain to create a temporary vacancy for Dixon in the Petronas Yamaha team on the still-injured Franco Morbidelli’s Yamaha M1.

Morbidelli has been replaced for the past two rounds by Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow (pictured below), but it now looks like Dixon’s fellow British rider will be promoted to the factory team, as Maverick Vinales’ suspension for over-revving his engine in a fit of anger at the Styrian Grand Prix continues.

Cal Crutchlow Petronas Yamaha MotoGP

Vinales, who confirmed weeks of reporting on Monday by announcing an Aprilia deal for 2022, is expected to have his Yamaha fate revealed later this week, with The Race’s sources in the paddock hinting that a formal judgement on whether or not he will remain with Yamaha for the rest of the season is expected to be made on Friday.

With that decision widely believed to be one that converts his suspension into a sacking, it means that Crutchlow will then take over as a factory rider for the time being, potentially even seeing out the remaining seven races of the year in the Monster Energy Yamaha colours.

With Morbidelli not expected to return to MotoGP action until September’s race at Misano at the earliest, it means that the Petronas SRT team (which is folding its Moto2 and Moto3 efforts for 2022) needs to find a replacement for its replacement – and, as first reported by The Race last weekend at the Austrian Grand Prix, it’s looking increasingly likely that it will be Moto2 rider Dixon who gets the nod.

Jake Dixon Petronas SRT Moto2

However, it could be a case of only riding the Yamaha M1 machine for one round amid speculation that Moto3 racer (and expected 2022 MotoGP rider) Binder could also get the chance to trial the bike at Motorland Aragon.

Binder, brother of Austrian GP winner Brad, tested a Yamaha R1 superbike earlier this week at the Czech Republic’s Brno circuit, joining Petronas SRT partner Yamaha Austria Racing Team and completing a day of riding at the former grand prix venue in his Moto3 team leathers as part of his transition to 1000cc machinery for next year.

The South African is believed to have signed a deal with the SRT team to move to Moto2 for next year before title sponsor Petronas announced its withdrawal and the subsequent closure of the Moto2 and Moto3 efforts – but Binder is believed to have used his already-signed agreement to leverage his way into a premier-class contract instead.

Darryn Binder Petronas SRT Moto3

With the South African poised to become only the second rider to ever make the jump from Moto3 to MotoGP after Jack Miller performed the feat in 2015, the news has raised some eyebrows in the paddock thanks to Binder’s reputation as a somewhat wild rider.

He was most recently sanctioned at last month’s German Grand Prix after colliding with wildcard Joel Kelso while on an out-lap during qualifying, receiving a ride-through penalty as a result.

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