Brad Binder

Brad Binder
South Africa
Birth Date: 
8 November, 1985
Birth Place: 

Brad Binder Biography

After suffering his first MotoGP season without a victory in 2022, Brad Binder enters his fourth premier-class campaign with Red Bull KTM alongside new team-mate Jack Miller.

The first South African to compete in the premier class since Jon Eckerold in 1983, Binder also became the first to win a race by snatching the RC16's first victory (in only his third MotoGP appearance) at Brno 2020.

Binder added another win in Austria 2021, and remained the top KTM rider in the 2022 standings, when his victory run was broken by the smallest of margins.

Brad Binder - Route to MotoGP

Making his grand prix debut at the age of 17 in the 2011 125GP World Championship, Binder made his full-time switch to international competition with the series’ evolution into Moto3 for 2012.

Competing with the RW Racing GP squad, a modest campaign was concluded with an eye-catching run to fourth in the Valencia season finale and led to a move to Mahindra machinery with Ambrogio Racing for 2013 and 2014.

It was during the latter of these campaigns that Binder picked up a pair of podiums, peaking with a run to second in Germany, and led to him being brought onto KTM’s roster with the factory-backed Ajo Motorsport team in 2015.

Four podiums earned him sixth in the standings and installed him as a favourite for the 2016 season, a status he lived up to with six victories and 13 podiums in 18 races to become World Champion by a clear margin over future MotoGP rivals Enea Bastianini, Pecco Bagnaia and GP rookie Joan Mir.

Progressing to Moto2 for 2017 with the same Ajo-run KTM squad, Binder impressed to finish his rookie season in eighth position despite missing three events through injury. In 2018 he landed his first wins at the Sachsenring, Aragon and Phillip Island en route to third in the standings. 

A title favourite for 2019, Binder suffered with a KTM chassis that had fallen behind rivals Kalex but after a difficult start to the year made impressive headway with a first win of the year in Austria being followed by four wins from the latter six races, lifting him to second in the standings just behind Alex Marquez.

Brad Binder in MotoGP (2020 - Present)

KTM (2020 - Present)

As expected, Binder got the call to step up to MotoGP for the 2020 season, though he was originally set to compete with the sister Tech3 Racing squad. However, when Johann Zarco prematurely departed the factory team before the end of 2019, Binder was promoted into the works ride before he had turned a wheel on the RC16.

Despite the added pressure of being a rookie on a factory bike, Binder proved one of the revelations during the first half of the year, showing impressive - if error-prone - pace during the Jerez openers before pulling off a remarkable maiden victory at Brno in only his third start.

Marking the first win for a KTM rider in MotoGP, though Binder couldn’t replicate the shock result thereafter, he did post solid runs to the top five in Austria and Valencia to secure 11th in the final standings.

Binder remained with the Factory team for 2021 where he was joined by two-time race winner Miguel Oliveira, promoted from the Tech3 squad.

A brilliant, brave ride on slick tyres, as the leaders pitted for wets in a late-race downpour, saw Binder win the Austrian MotoGP in what was the clear highlight in an often frustrating season for the South African, who finished as the top KTM in the world championship but celebrated just one podium.

Indeed, without the chaos created by the Red Bull Ring storm, Binder would probably have finished the year without a rostrum.

It's no secret that the RC16 faltered in its first season without technical concessions, but the bike did hit a brief sweet spot with a triple podium run in the hands of team-mate Miguel Oliveira.

The Portuguese scored 65 out of 75 points in the Mugello-Catalunya-Sachsenring events, but Binder couldn't take advantage of what proved the bike's best dry races, managing only 32 points.

Nonetheless, when Oliveira's results evaporated over the second half of the championship, Binder stepped up as top KTM in the last nine races, consistency taking him to sixth overall (after Marc Marquez's withdraw).

That was a clear improvement on last year's eleventh, despite facing some of the circuits for the first time as a MotoGP rider.

Qualifying again proved troublesome with only four top-ten starts, but Binder did iron-out his rookie errors to take the chequered flag in all but one race.

Binder began 2022 with a bang by closing to within 0.346s of Enea Bastianini and victory in the Qatar season opener. But it proved a false dawn and, once again hampered by persistent qualifying struggles for the RC16, the South African wasn't seen on the podium again until Motegi, in the autumn.

While outgoing team-mate Miguel Oliveira won twice in the wet, Binder signed off his third season in the premier class with another narrow 0.3s defeat, by Alex Rins, at the Valencia finale on his way to repeating sixth in the world championship.

Binder, who is contracted to KTM until the end of 2024, will be teamed with ex-Ducati star Jack Miller for the next two seasons.

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