MotoGP: Darryn Binder seals 2022 premier class spot with RNF Yamaha

Darryn Binder will become a MotoGP rider in 2022
Darryn Binder will become a MotoGP rider in 2022

Darryn Binder will make the jump from Moto3 to MotoGP next season after signing for the new RNF Yamaha team.

It was announced earlier today that the newly branded RNF Racing squad, formally Petronas Yamaha (Sepang Racing Team, had signed a one-year deal for the supply of YZR-M1 bikes in 2022, with the option of extending the relationship into 2023 and 2023.

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Binder will line-up alongside veteran rider Andrea Dovizioso, who has moved into the current Petronas Yamaha team following Franco Morbidelli’s early promotion to the factory Yamaha garage.

The South African will become the first rider since Jack Miller to make the leap from the lightweight class straight into the premier class. Whilst Miller made the move after fighting for the Moto3 title, Binder has had a tough 2021 campaign with only two podiums to his name.

“I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity, as it has been a lifelong dream to race in the MotoGP category,” Binder said. “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.

“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.”

Binder joined the Moto3 class on a full-time basis in 2015 after two years in the Red Bull Rookies Cup. Making steady progress in his opening two campaigns, Binder secured top 10s, points finishes and a best of fourth in 2017.

Binder’s first podium came at Argentina in 2019, whilst he secured his first and only victory, as things stand, in Barcelona the following season. Following his move to Petronas Sprinta Racing for 2021, Binder was expected to challenge for the title, however it’s been a tough campaign for both him and teammate John McPhee.

“We are delighted that he [Darryn] is joining the Yamaha line-up next year,” Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Company, added. “We’ve had many conversations about who would be a good match for the new RNF MotoGP Team set-up. “It’s a fresh start for the Yamaha satellite team and that makes it all the more fitting to have a young and eager rider like Darryn join them, as Fabio and Franky did before him.

“For Yamaha the primary mission of the satellite team is developing future MotoGP talents. Darryn has already shown on numerous occasions what he’s made of in the Moto3 class. We know he is a fast and determined rider who has got what it takes to battle at the front of the pack. Obviously, the step up to MotoGP is significant and will take some adjusting, but we feel that he’s ready, and Yamaha and the RNF MotoGP Team will fully support him for this new and exciting challenge.”

Binder joins brother Brad in the premier class, which means there will be three sets of brothers on the 2022 grid; Marc and Alex Marquez, Aleix and Pol Espargaro, and now Brad and Darryn Binder.

The announcement brings an end to any hope that Britain’s Jake Dixon would be promoted to MotoGP after his two appearances with the Petronas Yamaha team at Silverstone and Aragon.