Meet South Africa’s Brad Binder -The Moto3 World Champion
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“When you’re riding, only the race in which you’re riding is important.”[/perfectpullquote]
– Bill Shoemaker.
Brad Binder became the 2016 Moto3 World Champion after battling to a close second place at MotorLand, Aragon. The South African had an untouchable 106 point lead over race winner Jorge Navarro with four rounds still to go. He said, “My goal for the race was to win, obviously, and when I came across the line I was like: ‘Damn, I just came second’. Then I looked to the left and I saw my team, all the KTM guys hanging over the wall screaming and then I remembered that we just won the World Title! That was awesome, you know, it was a really, really special feeling.”
The KTM Red Bull Ajo rider became the first South African rider to win a grand prix title since Jon Ekerold won the 350cc in 1980.
Born on 11 August 1995 in Potchefstroom, South Africa, Brad started out in karts and was national champion aged just eight. Looking for a new challenge, he moved on to two wheels at 10 years old, and hasn’t looked back since.
After rapid progress on motorcycles in his native South Africa, Brad was accepted into the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup for 2009, and his talent shone enough over the next few seasons.
Brad was drafted into the RW Racing team in the 125cc World Championship in 2011 as a replacement for the injured Luis Salom. His displays and professional approach impressed the team, which earned him a full time Moto3 ride with them for 2012.
In 2013 he rode a Mahindra and made excellent progress, and went on to score two podiums the following season, with his performances catching the attention of a number of top teams in the paddock.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo set-up were able to beat off the competition to earn Brad’s signature, and his adventure with the three-time championship-winning outfit brought him four podiums in 2015.
The 21-year-old got his maiden victory at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España in April, 2016. The year got better and better as Brad sealed off the World Championship in Spain, at MotorLand, Aragon in September.
The South African, after winning his final race in Moto3 went a step up to Moto2 and he could not hide his excitement. [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“It’s the best situation I could ever think of, I mean, everybody wants to go into the best teams and this year I’ve been in the best Moto3 team. Next year I will step up into Moto2 and I will go straight to the best team there.”[/perfectpullquote]
He added, “I couldn’t ask for anything better that’s for sure, I’m so excited. For the last few weeks I’ve been counting down the days until I get to ride in Moto2 for the first time.”
With 2017 on the horizon, the next target for Brad comes into focus – the intermediate crown.
Featured Photo: Brad Binder. Courtesy of Paradigm Auto Detailing