#AskBinder: “I’m only superstitious when things are not going well”04/03/2015
Brad Binder is about to start his fourth season in the Moto3 World Championship, and will be racing with Red Bull KTM Ajo for the first time. The South African rider answers questions that fans have sent him via the official Twitter (@RedBull_KTM_Ajo) and Facebook (Red Bull KTM Ajo) accounts of his new team. Binder talks about his goals for this season, getting along with his new teammates or how he sees the racing scene in his native country in the interview.
You have a new team for this season. How do you feel about your new crew?
“The truth is I’m really enjoying myself with my new team. From day one it has been wonderful to be part of this structure and has been easy to adapt. My mechanics are always very attentive and very friendly and this makes working a lot easier. These good feelings are transmitted whenever I go out on track. Everything is easier.”
What ambitions do you have, going into this season?
“My plan is to try to do well every weekend and get onto the podium as often as possible. At the end of the year we’ll see where we are in the standings and then see what we can do.”
Do you feel pressure on a team that have been three-time World Champions?
“Yes, of course there is pressure, but it is also the team I wanted to join ever since I started competing in the World Championship.”
How are you getting on with your new teammates, Miguel [Oliveira] and Karel [Hanika]?
“The relationship with Miguel and Karel is very good. The truth is that all three of us have a lot of fun. We are rivals on the track, but off it we are good friends and we get along great. Both of them are very nice guys. Perhaps Miguel is more serious and Karel more of a joker, but we have a great time together.”
Are you always competing?
“No, not always. After the races we always get together and drive karts, do motocross, play bowling. But we are not always comparing ourselves to each other. Away from the circuits we’re friends.”
What are the advantages of having three riders in the team?
“The good thing is being able to look at our times when we are close together and analyse the data. We can see where everyone goes faster and what our strengths are. This helps us to get a good lap. I enjoy it a lot and it makes things easier.”
At Valencia in 2012, Ajo Motorsport had three riders on the podium. Do you think that can happen again this season?
“I remember that race perfectly because Zulfahmi [Khairuddin] passed me on the last corner of the race and denied me my first podium [laughs]. And of course I think it could be repeated; there’s no reason to think otherwise. It would be a great reward for the whole team.”
What do you think about the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit in Argentina? Did you like it?
“Going to Argentina for the first time last year was odd, because nobody had details of how to ride there. Even so, we had some very nice days and I quite like the track. Seeing how the fans cheered us on was spectacular. There were many people there, which made it a racing atmosphere.”
How do you see the state of the competition in South Africa?
“Many people do not see South Africa as a powerhouse in the world of motorcycle racing, but the scene today is much better than a few years ago and some good riders are coming through.”
Do you think then that maybe some new South African talent coming throughin the future?
“Over the past 20 years there has been no South African rider in the World Championship, but I think that three years ago more riders began to leave the country to compete in European championships and even the World Championship. Year after year it gets better.”
Why do you wear the number 41?
“When I was little I used to use 14. Then, after changing competition in South Africa, 14 was already taken, so I decided to alter the order and use 41. Although actually one of the reasons I switched to 41 was because I liked Noriyuki Haga. He was my favourite rider.”
Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals you perform before races?
“I’m not superstitious, but sometimes I look at what underwear I am going to use. If I have got a good result with any of them, then I use them the day of the race. But it depends. When things go well I’m not superstitious, but when I end up in a position that I do not like, I’m more superstitious.”
Who called you first ‘Bradical’?
“I was called that for the first time in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, when we used to joke around with Arthur Sissis. We started calling him Arturo [Arthur in Spanish] and he invented the nickname ‘Bradical’. I thought, “it is an affectionate nickname and I like it. Why not?”
What is your favourite dinosaur?
“My God, I did not expect that question! [laughs]. Well the only one I know is the Tyrannosaurus Rex, so it has to be my favourite.”