The iconic lights of the Lusail circuit in Qatar have lit up the start of MotoGP™ 15 times in the last 16 seasons, and in 2022 we were excited to see a strong tinge of orange at the front of the field as racing got underway. An incredible race, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder clinched second at the season opener in early March; it is KTM’s best ever start to a MotoGP season in the manufacturer’s sixth term in the series, and more surprisingly as the challenging, often dusty circuit in the desert is not known for being a ‘strong’ track for the Austrian squad.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team celebrating Brad Binder’s amazing runner-up result in Qatar

Binder’s launch from seventh on the grid aboard his KTM RC16 presents a strong promise for an exciting season, as the South African closed in on the wheel of eventual winner Enea Bastiannini by the checkered flag – finishing just 0.346 seconds behind. It’s a memorable kick-off to the highly anticipated championship and in celebration of KTM’s opening round podium, we at the KTM Blog have selected out some of the best images from the Qatar race weekend.

All photos by @PolarityPhoto

Brad Binder elbow-down aboard his KTM RC16 on his way to the best MotoGP™ season start for KTM
KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder getting ready for a free practice session under the iconic lights of the Lusail circuit in Qatar
The Lusail circuit in Qatar is known to be a very difficult one for KTM
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s #33 getting Ready To Race Grand Prix of Qatar
Brad Binder was fast out of the box for the first Free Practice and was P1 on Friday afternoon
Brad Binder was KTM’s highest-placed qualifier in Qatar thanks to 7th position on the grid at the Lusail International Circuit
Brad Binder after the Qualifying on Saturday: “…I felt good and the bike feels great – the best I’ve ever felt in Qatar – and we’re ready for the race tomorrow”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder getting prepared for a successful first MotoGP weekend
Pleasant temperatures and a strong breeze marked the very first qualification ‘Q1’ and ‘Q2’ periods of 2022 at Lusail as MotoGP pushed through afternoon, dusk and early evening sessions in preparation for round one
Brad Binder focused and Ready To Race the Grand Prix of Qatar from the third row
Binder made an electric start from the third row under the Lusail lights for the first race of 21 and the longest world championship season on record
The South African pushed his KTM RC16 into 3rd position in the formative laps and never budged from the leading quartet
The result represents KTM’s first trophy of the year, the second time in Brad’s career that he has finished on the podium at the opening race (the first was in 2016 during his Moto3 title year)
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team celebrating the superb 2nd position in Qatar – Binder was just three tenths of a second from the winner Enea Bastianini by the checkered flag
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team is over the moon about the sensational runner-up result for Binder at MotoGP Qatar Grand Prix season opener
Brad Binder: “Incredible. If you told me we’d be 2nd in Qatar after the first test I wouldn’t have believed you.”