KTM will welcome their next MotoGP racer to have come through the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and Red Bull KTM Moto3 and Moto2 ranks when Brad Binder joins former teammate Miguel Oliveira at Red Bull KTM Tech3 next season. Binder will become the first South African to enter the leaderboard in the premier class since the year 2000.
The 23 year old 2016 Moto3 World Champion will steer the KTM RC16 next year after three seasons, 3 victories and 8 podiums – to-date – in the Moto2 category. 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.
In MotoGP Binder 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.
Binder will join Red Bull KTM Tech3 for what will be the team’s second season in ‘orange’ and the early stages of a young project for both the squad and the brand.
Brad Binder: “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. 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.”
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.”
Hervé Poncharal, Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager: “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 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. 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.”