Darryn Binder will ride for the rebranded-RNF Racing outfit in the 2022 MotoGP season, joining Andrea Dovizioso at the Yamaha-satellite team it was announced at Misano on Thursday afternoon.
Binder-younger brother of KTM premier class race winner Brad- currently competes with the Petronas SRT squad in the Moto3 world championship, the organisation being taken over by current Team Principle Razlan Razali and rebranded to RNF for 2022 and beyond.
He therefore becomes the first rider since Jack Miller in 2014 to skip the Moto2 series and jump directly into the premier class from Moto3, Binder being afforded a year-old Yamaha M1 alongside Dovizioso’s full-factory machine for 2022 with an option to remain within the operation for the following campaign.
He will first sample his new steed in the post-Valencia MotoGP test next month ahead of pre-season testing in February next year.
Binder says he is “extremely grateful” to be handed the opportunity to make his premier class bow alongside his older brother, adding that he is “up for the challenge” of making the demanding jump in heading directly into MotoGP from Moto3.
“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,” said Binder.
“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.”
The South African has been rumoured to be in pole position to secure the final available berth on next years grid for some time thanks to an aptly worded contract that promised him a ride with the outfit for ’22, likely to have been Moto2 prior to Petronas cancelling its partnership with current and soon to be former owners Sepang International Circuit after ’21.
This led to its both its lightweight and intermediate class teams being shuttered beyond this year, leaving RNF to afford the second ride to Binder despite its change of ownership and subsequent re-branding.
Binder makes the leap into MotoGP following seven seasons racing for a variety of different outfits in the lightweight class, collecting a total of eight rostrum results so far including a sole win coming last year in the Catalan Grand Prix while running with the CIP Green Power team.
He sits sixth in the overall riders standings with three races remaining this season, though he has failed to stand on the rostrum since the second round of the year in Qatar, though his impressive consistency has seen him rack up a total of 11 top ten results in the 15 rounds contested thus far.