South African former Moto3 World Champion Brad Binder will make the step up to MotoGP in 2020 after signing to ride for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team.
Binder replaces Hafizh Syahrin in the team alongside Miguel Oliveira and will be the first South African to take to the grid in the four-stroke era and to score significant points since Kork Ballington, Jon Ekerold and Brett Hudson in the early 1980s.
“It is incredible to have this opportunity. I want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to KTM, Red Bull KTM Tech3, my manager and my family for helping me get to the premier class and to be able to give it a try,” said Binder.
“It is an amazing feeling right now and a dream come true. When you are growing up then this is what you aim for – to be in the MotoGP class with the best riders in the world with the best bikes – so it is a crazy feeling right now.”
Binder made his Grand Prix debut in 2011 (as a Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race winner) and grabbed his first silverware in 2014. He claimed the 2016 world title in just his second term with Red Bull KTM Ajo (becoming South Africa’s first world champion in thirty-six years and just the third from his country) and graduated immediately to Moto2 with the same team. He raced alongside Oliveira in 2017 and 2018.
“Brad is somebody I have been following since he joined the championship in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and later in the Moto3,” said team boss Herve Poncharal.
I think to have the Miguel Oliveira/Brad Binder line-up reunited with us next year is something that shows the Red Bull KTM organisation and path is working. It’s going to be a strong team as I think there will be a great relationship between him and Miguel.
“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 KTM for their investment, I would like to thank Red Bull for their support. I would like to give 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, maybe fight for the title and we are ready to work with him from the Valencia test.”