It has been confirmed today that current Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2™ star Brad Binder will make the step up to MotoGP™ for the 2020 season with Red Bull KTM Tech 3.
The South African made his Grand Prix debut in 2011, completing five races in the 125cc class while competing in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookie Cup before a full-time Moto3™ ride was his in 2012. Between 2012 and 2015, Binder achieved six podiums before a stellar 2016 Moto3™ campaign with Red Bull KTM Ajo followed. The Number 41 rider won seven races and finished off the podium just four times on his way to claiming the 2016 Moto3™ World Championship.
Welcome to #motogp @BradBinder_41! The South African signs a deal with @Tech3Racing to enter the premier class in 2020 and is another of #ktm's athletes to make their way from @RB_Rookies_Cup all the way to the top #worldchamp #readytorace. Read more here: https://t.co/hlu62Bx8O9 pic.twitter.com/sNodHcxsAb— KTM Factory Racing (@KTM_Racing) July 10, 2019
A move to Red Bull KTM Ajo would see both himself and the team take part in their rookie intermediate class campaign, with Binder finishing the year with three back-to-back podiums in Australia, Malaysia and Valencia. The 2018 German GP saw Binder claim his first Moto2™ victory, with wins following in Aragon and Australia that season as he went on to finish third in the overall standings. This season, the KTM Triumph Moto2™ bike has had its struggles, but two back-to-back podiums now stand Binder and KTM in good stead for the rest of 2019.
And now, ahead of the three-week summer break, it is announced that Binder will be moving up to the MotoGP™ class in 2020, joining the Red Bull KTM Tech 3 ranks. This feat sees Binder is set to become the first South African to compete in the premier class since 2000, and also sees him join Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in completing the path from Red Bull Rookies to MotoGP™.
Brad Binder: “Looking forward, it’s an incredible feeling, a crazy feeling to think that I’ll be racing in MotoGP next year. I just have to say a huge thank you to KTM for putting their trust in me and taking me through to the premier class and yeah, I’m really excited to get started next year and see how things go next year. Next year I think my main goal will be to learn as quickly as possible and learn from the much more experienced guys on the KTMs. I obviously want to go there and do well straight away but in MotoGP, everything is extremely hard and super tight so you know, I’m sure it’ll take time to find my feet in MotoGP but I’m confident we can do a good job there.”
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsport Director: “To be able to sign Brad Binder for our MotoGP project is an exciting moment because he has been with us for five years already and is one of our world champions. We have a strong story and connection and we’re really happy that it continues. It is clear we all have a big challenge in front of us and we also feel responsible for him to be able to maintain this good path we have together. We also like the fact that Brad has this distinctive riding style that allows him to push a bike and project to the maximum. We feel that he ‘fits’ to us, and we cannot wait to see how he handles and attacks a MotoGP bike. I’m sure he can add some extra and special things because he has done that with every motorcycle he has raced so far and it will be a highlight not only for us but for all MotoGP fans.”
Herve Poncharal, Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager: “We are only halfway through our first racing season in MotoGP with KTM, but already we have some incredible, exciting news coming with the signing of Brad Binder for the 2020 MotoGP season. Brad is somebody I have been following since he joined the championship in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and later in the Moto3. I have always been amazed by his talent, his aggressivity and his never-give-up-attitude and when you run a motorcycle race team, this is the profile of rider you wish and you love to have. I think to have the Miguel Oliveira - Brad Binder line-up reunited with us next year, is something that shows the Red Bull KTM organization and path is working. I think Brad Binder more than deserves a MotoGP ride next year after what he has been showing in the Moto2 the past two seasons. I know KTM and I can witness KTM is working incredibly hard to improve the MotoGP bike and I’m quite sure that Brad with the winter test will be very happy and very fast from round one on that bike. It’s going to be a strong team, as I think there will be a great relationship between him and Miguel, his teammate and I honestly believe, I couldn’t dream for a better structure. Miguel and Brad know each other, they are both incredible competitors and when you are a team owner, this is all you wish for. So, together with Red Bull, KTM and Tech3 there was never any doubt that this is the line-up we wanted to have and I would like to thank Pit Beirer for his investment, I would like to thank Niki Ruhstorfer for his support. I would also like to thank Bob Moore, Brad’s personal manager, because I think the four of us, we managed to make that happen and this is a great news for MotoGP racing and a great news for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team. I would like to say a huge warm welcome to Brad and tell him we are going to follow him even closer during the second part of the Moto2 season. I’m sure he’s going to win some races, why not fight for the title and we are ready to welcome him from the Valencia test.”