Proudly South African!!! Brad Binder – South Africa’s MotoGP star – has been named Rookie of the Year in MotoGP for 2020!
South Africa (23 November 2020) – South Africa’s MotoGP star – Brad Binder – sealed the Rookie of the Year award at the Portuguese Grand Prix despite crashing out of the race!
An unprecedented year, that at times nobody thought would take place, delivered one of the most memorable MotoGP years in history… and Brad Binder has been holding South Africa’s flag high with pride.
And now the South African has been named Rookie of the Year in MotoGP for 2020.
He beat Spaniard Alex Marquez to that title, despite crashing out of the final race of the season in Portugal. The Red Bull KTM Factory rider won his first race this season, at the Brno in the Czech Republic, and ended 11th in the standings. He says the rookie title was one of his aims at the start of the season, and he’s looking forward to improving next year.
Binder, the 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.