Brad Binder Bio
“I love racing motorcycles, my whole life revolves around bikes and I think it has changed me as a person. I dream of one day becoming a MotoGP World Champion. Just like most people that race motor bikes I am a very dedicated person and if I put my mind to something I won’t stop until I’m the best.”
17 year old South African – Brad Binder – has been a Championship winner from aged 9 – first on four wheels in karting and then on two. Before setting his sights on the international arena, Brad was a National and Regional Championship Winner in South Africa for 7 consecutive years. He was awarded Junior Motorsport Colours for 5 consecutive years, National Junior Protea Colours in 2009 and National Protea Colours in 2011.
Brad made his international debut in 2008 when he competed in the Aprilia Superteens Series in the UK. Despite the fact that the organizer wasn’t overly optimistic at his chances – of the 50 competitors only 35 qualify to race, of the 35 all had been racing in the Series for a minimum of 18 months – Brad took to the Brand’s Hatch Circuit. It was his first time racing outside of South Africa and his dad had race prepped his bike in a matter of days. Much to everyone’s astonishment, Brad put in the fastest time in practise and in the 1st heat crossed the line in second place – 0.071 seconds behind the very accomplished winner. Regretfully he fell in the 2nd heat which put paid to the weekend’s racing.
In 2009 Brad’s dreams came true when he was one of 7 selected from hundreds of applicants from all over the world to compete in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. Brad’s uncanny ability to memorise tracks, turns, lines and apexes had commentators liken him to WSBK and MotoGP Champion – Ben Spies. Brad’s 3 year journey as a Red Bull Rookie was an incredible one. In 2010 Brad achieved two second places at Sachsenring in Germany and a third place in Mugello, Italy. Brad achieved a top 5 place overall in the 2010 Moto GP Red Bull Rookies Cup.
Brad’s final year in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies was a particularly challenging one. Coming from the land of sunshine, rain is not something that Brad was accustomed to and the 2011 Season was a wet, wet one! Brad achieved two pole positions at Jerez and a very close second place after leading much of the race. At Estoril, Brad once achieved pole position – in the pouring rain. He won his first ever Rookie’s race by a whopping 15.9 seconds! Brad made South Africans proud by having the SA Flag flown on the MotoGP podium. Despite many bouts of bad luck, Brad kept fighting and never, ever gave up, he was described as having the “Heart of a Champion” after his performance at The Cathedral of Speed – Assen.
As he came into the last corner Brad was clipped by a fellow rider and they both fell, Brad jumped up, leapt back onto his bike and despite the fact that it wouldn’t start he pushed it down the straight over the finish line to finish the race – to a standing ovation from the crowds.
Brad made his Moto GP 125 debut in Indianapolis where he was invited to ride for RW
Racing’s injured Luis Salom. Said Hans Spaan – RW’s Chief Engineer after Brad’s Indianapolis ride, “It is truly amazing what the kid has shown here. He was constantly 2 seconds per lap faster in the race than in Qualifying. Everything he did was good. You can tell he is a real racer: he is at his best when there is something at stake. That says a lot about his mental strength and his physical condition. He is really a talented rider”. What followed was 4 more Moto GP 125 rides – this time for Team Andalucia – Banca Civica Diputacion de Cadiz.
Brad competed at Motegi, PhilipIsland, Sepang and Valencia. Brad’s talent was lauded and his dedication and hard work were acknowledged and at the end of 2011 it was announced that Brad would ride for RW Racing in Moto3 in 2012 on board a Kalex KTM.
Brad teamed up with 20 year old Spaniard – Luis Salom in the only Dutch GP Team. RW Racing’s Team Owner – Roelof Waninge described Brad as, “a typical racer, mentally strong, in the race he rode with faster times than in qualifying, a real talent’’. Brad’s first full Moto 3 Season was a tough one, fraught with challenges, circumstances way beyond his control.
However, armed with the attitude that you learn more during times of adversity and those who have endured adversity are the ones with the resilience and resolve to succeed, Brad just kept his eye on the goal, knuckled down and continued to give of his absolute best.
His perseverance paid off and in the final round of his Moto 3 Season, Brad enjoyed an awesome battle for a podium place. Starting from 15th place on the grid, Brad battled like a gladiator and just missed the podium on the last corner to the older, more experienced Zulfahmi Khairuddin. The last few laps were the most breath taking of his Moto 3 Season and Brad was finally able to show the world what he’s capable of, achieving a magnificent 4th place – even Cal Crutchlow made a special visit to Brad’s pits to congratulate him! When it was pointed out to him that had he achieved the podium position, he would have been the first South African rider since Mario Rademeyer to achieve a podium in a Moto GP – Mario Rademeyer had achieved this 27 years previously, Brad commented, “that’s ok, next year will be 28 years, it was such an awesome race!”.
At the end of his first Moto 3 Season, Brad moved to Italian Team – Ambrogio Racing, on board a Honda mounted ride. His first experience with his new team came just one week after the end of the Moto 3 Championship when he returned to Valencia to compete in the closing race of the Spanish CEV Championship. Brad, Ambrogio Racing and the Suter Honda proved to be the team to beat when Brad powered to a 5 second victory over the rest of the highly competitive field – of the 44 riders, many had already tasted the World Championship, ready to line up again in 2013 and quite a few more are ready to line up for the first time in 2013. Said the Team Principal – Fiorenzo Caponera - for Ambrogio Racing after Brad’s victory, “Brad had competed the 2012 season with engine and frame different from ours. I was curious to see whether he could adapt easily or not… quite clearly, he could!”
Brad’s 2013 Moto 3 Season started early with him travelling to Spain during the first week of January to start his training regime. Moving into an apartment with Team Mate – the experienced British Rider – Danny Webb, Brad and Danny started training in earnest under the watchful eye of a trainer and being placed on a strict diet. Spending 5 hours a day on running, swimming and on cardio, Brad was soon at peak fitness. Brad soon learned to cook and iron – a skills set that he had not previously possessed!
The first 3 official IRTA Tests were really good for Brad, the first Test at Valencia saw him finish in 10th position, the second test at Jerez he showed how well he has adjusted to wet weather riding and was in 2nd position in the wet conditions for Day 1, Day 2 was dry and he finished in 5th position. Returning to Jerez for the third and final test Brad went faster than the time he achieved in the 2nd test achieving a 5th position for Day 1, 3rd in the torrential wet weather conditions on Day 2 and 4th on Day 3 – another very successful test! Said Ambrogio Racing’s Team Principal – Fiorenzo Caponera following the testing, “We are at the end of the testing season, and entering the battle. We are satisfied about the job done with riders, bikes and team. As we are the sole Suter team in the class, we had the chance to tailor our bike on our riders’ needs. The results so far rewarded us and the job done: The relationship between the two guys is great, and so is between them and the team. The engine performs certainly better than in 2012 – we have been constantly within the top riders. Now, we can take a breath and prepare to get on our flight to Qatar. We, as a team, want to show what our real potential is, after a difficult 2012 season, and are absolutely happy for staying with Suter and not changing, as so many suggested us”.
As so succinctly put by Fiorenzo Caponera – we are at the end of the testing season, and entering the battle……The time has come and on the 7th April the starting lights will go out at the fabulous Losail International Circuit on the outskirts of Doha, the capital city of Qatar and a new Moto 3 Season will begin.
Date of birth : 11 August 1995
Place of birth : Potchefstroom, South Africa
Now living in : Moraira, Spain
Hometown: Krugersdorp, Johannesburg , South Africa
Height : 1.7m
Weight : 57 kgs
Motor Racing Experience:
Started Kart Racing.
South African National Karting Champion in the 50 cc Cadet Class- aged 9.
Moved from Karting to Motorcycle Circuit Racing – the Northern Regions Racing Championship
50 cc Highschool Boys Regional Champion on Yamaha a TZRR 50cc
Awarded Junior Motorsport Colours
50 cc Highschool Boys Regional Champion on a Yamaha TZRR 50cc
Honda CBR 150 Club Champion
Awarded Junior Motorsport Colours.
Honda CBR 150 Club Champion
Honda GP 125 RS Northern Regions Racing Champion
Awarded Junior MotorSport Colours
Accepted to race in The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup for the 2009 Season
GP 125 Northern Regions Racing Champion
Participated in the 2009 Season of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup
Awarded Junior Motorsport Colours
Awarded Protea Colours by Motorsport South Africa for racing internationally
Was leading both the Northern Regions GP 125 and 600cc Classes until overseas commitments caused him to miss too many races, loosing valuable points.
Finished 2nd overall (to brother Darryn) in the GP 125 and achieved 2nd place in the 600cc Class.
Enjoyed a brilliant Red Bull MotoGP Rookie Season with a 3rd place at Mugello, two 2nd places at Sachsenring and Season Finish – 5th overall.
Has was invited back for the 2011 Season.
Brad has had an awesome start to 2011, he enjoyed 4 out of 4 wins in the Northern Regions GP 125 Class, missing 2 races due to Red Bull MotoGP Rookies commitments. Despite missing so many races, Brad finished 2 nd overall in the Northern Regions G125 Class (to brother Darryn).
Highlights of the Red Bull Moto GP Cup:
Brad achieved 2 pole positions at Jerez, and a second place after leading for most of the race.
At Estoril Brad achieved a pole position and a win with an astounding 15.9 second lead.
Brad had his Moto GP 125 debut at Indianapolis finishing 17th for RW Racing. He finished the last 4 rounds of the Moto GP Season competing at Motegi, PhilipIsland, Sepang and Valencia for Team Andalucia – Banca Civica Diputacion de Cadiz Brad was awarded National Protea Colours
First full Moto 3 Season on board a Kalex KTM with Dutch based RW Racing GP, team mates with Luis Salom Despite a challenging season, Brad ended on a high note with a magnificent 4 th place finish at Valencia, losing out on the last corner on his first podium place to the older, more experienced – Zulfahmi Khairuddin.
Brad signed up with Italian Team Ambrogio Racing for the 2013 Moto 3 Season – on board a Suter Honda. His first encounter with the Team was at Valencia just a week after the end of the Moto 3 Season for the final race of the Spanish CEV Championship.
Brad, the Suter Honda and Ambrogio Racing proved to be a formidable force and Brad thundered to a 5 second win at the Valencia Circuit
Following 3 highly successful IRTA Tests, Brad, British Team mate– Danny Webb and Ambrogio Racing on board Suter Hondas are ready to take on the 2013 Moto 3 Season.
SCHOOLING AND HOBBIES:
In addition to competing in Moto 3 in 2012, Brad completed his Senior Matric Certification, this was done by correspondence under the supervision of his mom – Sharon.
Staying fit is imperative to Brad’s riding success. Brad cycles every day and participates in cycle races, Brad enjoys road racing and mountain biking. If Brad is in South Africa he competes in the 94.7 Cycle Challenge, he has completed this successfully twice riding tandem with brother Darryn. Brad also enjoys swimming and long distance swimming forms part of his fitness training. Brad is a keen water sport enthusiast and is an accomplished water skier and wake boarder. Brad loves to surf and quips, “if I wasn’t a motor racer I would be a surfer”.
Brad’s racing heroes are Valentino Rossi and Noriyuki Haga. Brad’s race number is 41 – the same as Haga’s. Someday Brad hopes to give all time great - Rossi an autographed picture! Brad says that he will always remember and be inspired by Super Sic – Marco Simoncelli “he truly was a MotoGP great”.
WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE IN RACING:
Brad intends to become a Champion and hold as many lap records as possible. His aim is to become a works rider for a great team just like his heroes – Rossi and Haga. It is Brad’s dream to always be involved in Motorcycling and when he has achieved his goal of racing and winning, Brad plans to run his own Team.