Watch out, Rossi – here comes Bradical


On Sunday, Bradical could move yet another step closer to becoming a world champion when he hopes to win his third race on the trot in Italy.

Riding for Red Bull KTM Ajo, Binder set a lap record at the Mugello circuit when he finished 10th in 2015.

With his wins in France and Spain, the latter a victory after he had been demoted to last place on the grid, he now leads the championship table.

You wait 78 races for your first win and two come along. After his second victory, Binder became the first South African to take consecutive wins in any MotoGP class since Jon Ekerold in the 350cc category in 1980.

The Mugello circuit in Tuscany is a long way from Potchefstroom, where Binder was born, and Krugersdorp, where he grew up and where he still lives when in South Africa. The 20-year-old didn’t hang around in his place of birth for too long, though.

“I was born in Potch and it was pretty much the one and only day I’ve been there in my entire life,” said Binder this week. “From there I lived in Carletonville, where my dad’s company is, until I was 11 or 12. After that we moved closer to Johannesburg, to Krugersdorp.”

Also read: Another win for SA’s Binder at Le Mans

His parents, Sharon and Trevor, have sacrificed a lot to give him and his younger brother Darryn, who also races in Moto3, the chance to compete in Europe. Brad is now based in Spain to ease travelling during his 18-race season.

“Without my parents I could not have done any of this. I’ve been racing in Europe since I was 12 years old and my parents have supported me the whole time,” Binder said. “For my first season in GP, my mom lived with me in Spain while my dad and my little brother Darryn stayed back home in South Africa.

“They not only made financial sacrifices but they gave up a lot on the family front – we were never all together. You know, at the moment, it all seems like all that sacrifice is starting to pay off.

“Since I was born I’ve always had bikes around me. My dad is a bike and car fanatic, so I guess it was inevitable that I would end up loving motorsport. My dad actually did a bit of racing when I was younger, but he was never competitive at it.

“I would say I really got into motorsport in 2003 when I started karting. Throughout my karting seasons I continued to ride bikes on my off weekends, slowly getting bored with karting, and then I finally made the move to racing bikes competitively in 2006.”

Also read: SA's Brad Binder wins Jerez Moto3

He spent a year at Krugersdorp High, but his schedule as part of the Red Bull Rookies Cup meant he was racing every other weekend in Europe. Binder raced in the development programme for three years.

“It set me up for what was to come,” he said. “For South Africans, it’s pretty hard to find a ride in Europe. But the Red Bull Rookies Cup was the perfect way for me to try and get into MotoGP.”

Binder believes his first podium – a second place in Germany in 2014 – was his “breakthrough” moment. “That was what got everything changing. I had my options open to go to different teams and that was the first time I felt it could be my job, something I could live off,” he said. “The end goal has always been MotoGP. I’ve dreamed of racing against people like Valentino Rossi since I was a little kid.

“Right now, Moto3 is great, but I plan on making the move up to Moto2 next year and aim to do well there so that in the next couple of years, I’ll be up in the main race with the big boys.

“I think one of my best traits is that I’m a really hard worker away from the track. I work really hard, train really hard and make sure I eat well. Other than that, no matter what kind of weekend I’ve had, by the time race time comes I dig deep and try and get up there, at the front – so I guess I would say I’m pretty good at rising to the occasion.”

Cape Argus

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Original source: Watch out, Rossi - here comes Bradical