Brad Binder’s beginnings in motorsport came on four wheels, competing in karting. In fact, his first title was the South African 50cc Kart Championship aged nine. A year later, in 2005, he demonstrated his winning talent on two wheels and never looked back. He won and retained the Regional Junior Championship in South Africa until 2007.
Binder first moved to Europe in 2008, when he participated in the Aprilia Superteens Series in the UK. His amazing ability to memorise tracks and phenomenal riding skill attracted plenty of attention. From hundreds of candidates, he was one of the lucky riders chosen to participate in the prestigious Red Bull Rookies Cup. His second year in the competition was his best, as he achieved three podiums and a creditable fifth place overall. It was not until 2011 at Estoril that he achieved a first victory in the competition, which opened the doors to the World Championship.
Replacing the injured Luis Salom, Binder debuted in the 125cc World Championship at the Indianapolis GP, coming close to claiming points (17th). That year he also competed in the last four races on the calendar, convincing the RW Racing Team GP outfit to field him in his first full season in Moto3 in 2012.
The South African went from 21st position in the overall standings in his rookie year, to 13th in 2013 and 11th in 2014. Last year he took 109 points and his first two Grand Prix podiums: A second place in Germany and third in Japan.
His great development caught the attention of Aki Ajo, Team Manager of Red Bull KTM Ajo, who offered him a position on the team for 2015. On his new bike, Brad Binder took another step forward and started to get better results, regularly placing in the Top 5 and claiming four podiums -enjoying an excellent final stretch of the year. In his first season with Red Bull KTM Ajo he finished sixth in the World Championship with 159 points.
In 2016 he filled the gap left by the team’s World Championship runner-up, Miguel Oliveira, and at the opening race in Qatar was already one of the strong candidates for the title. It was at the Spanish Grand Prix, after three consecutive podium finishes, that Binder attracted worldwide attention, taking his first win after starting from 35th position.
Brad Binder was proclaimed Moto3 World Champion at Aragon GP with four races still remaining. His record of 7 wins -Spain, France, Italy, Great Britain, San Marino, Australia and Valencia- and a further 7 podiums went unmatched by any of his rivals, and he was first South African to win a Grand Prix title since Jon Ekerold in 1980.
After finishing 2016 with the Moto3 title, Binder is ready to make the leap up to Moto2, as Red Bull KTM Ajo also expand into the intermediate class.
In his first season in the intermediate class, the South African was able to stay in the Top 10 for most of the year, despite suffering a serious injury in the first half of the campaign. Binder achieved three consecutive podiums in the final part of the season that allowed him to complete his rookie year in Moto2 in eighth place, with 125 points.