“The goal for me at the moment is that I really want to fight for a podium, every weekend would be fantastic,” – Brad Binder.
Johannesburg, South Africa (29 March 2021) – Brad Binder, a 25-year-old from just outside of Johannesburg, burst onto the MotoGP scene in 2020, claiming a historic victory in the third round of the season in Brno, Czech Republic.
At the time, little was known beyond racing circles about the young outsider shaking up the grid in a sport usually dominated by Europeans. Now the story of Binder’s rise to the very top is being revealed in a new feature-length documentary.
Brad Binder said: “My first season in MotoGP has been full of ups and downs, but I’ve really enjoyed it, and to top it off with this documentary coming out is super cool.
“When I was younger, I was always searching online for documentaries about riders and other sportspeople, so it’s insane to think that I have my own. It’s been nearly 10 years of filming with Red Bull, from the Red Bull Rookies Cup all the way through to this season – I’m sure there will be things in there that even I’ve forgotten, but I’m really looking forward to seeing it!”
Starting out his racing career in karts, Binder was a national champion aged just eight, before moving to two wheels and being accepted into the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup in 2009 at 14.
But with early success came sacrifice for the Binder family, as mother Sharon moved to Europe to support Brad’s dreams while father Trevor stayed with younger brother and fellow two-wheel racer Darryn.
By 2012, Brad had reached Moto3 but wasn’t considered a podium contender until an incredible charge from last to first saw him claim his debut Moto3 win at the Grand Prix of Spain in 2016, and he hasn’t looked back since.
Under the guidance of Red Bull KTM’s Aki Ajo, Binder became Moto3 World Champion, graduated to Moto2 and took 5 wins in the 2019 season to claim his place at the summit of MotoGP, taking on a new race number of 33 to echo his initials.
With the new MotoGP season kicking off on Sunday, we sat down with the Red Bull KTM rider to discuss the 2021 MotoGP, and this is what he had to say…
How was the offseason considering the impact of covid-19 in your rookie season?
Brad: The offseason was cool, it was so nice to come home and catch up with my family and friends, as I didn’t get to spend time in South Africa at all last year. But COVID-19 did put a bit of pressure on my Moto GP as it’s a lot more difficult, especially just to live a normal life and try to get to another country, and so far, this year is looking the same.
The pre-season surely must have been very different to what you are used to, can you talk us through that?
Brad: Pre-season has been great as far as the training and preparations go, though we were meant to start our first test in Japan at the beginning of February, but that got cancelled and moved to a date that was only a couple of weeks ago in Qatar, so we missed out on a few days of testing there, unfortunately, but yes it has been tough for us, the start has not been ideal or as we expected. We just need to stay focused, and it is now the time where we could either work for 1st place or 15th place, but I am confident that we will get it right just in time.
Are you happy to have Miguel as part of the team?
Brad: Definitely! It is really cool to have Miguel as my teammate; he is a really cool guy, we have always got on really well. I think we can really push Red Bull KTM on; I am sure between us we can do a really great job.
The rookie of the year season is done and dusted. What are the goals for this year for you and the team?
Brad: The goal for me at the moment is that I really want to fight for a podium, every weekend would be fantastic. If we could be racing for that front battle and keep on pushing, it will give us the opportunity to learn much more and push on a little bit from there. I think we have everything we need to really be there. It’s just we need to try to put all the small things together and go from there.