Moto3 champion and current Moto2 rider Brad Binder will graduate to MotoGP in 2020 after a deal to race for Tech 3 KTM.
German media jumped the gun ahead of the German MotoGP weekend about a possible move for Binder to MotoGP in 2020 to race for Tech 3 alongside Miguel Oliveira. The Austrian manufacturer confirmed of talks but no contract was signed.
Five days since his comments, KTM announced Binder as the latest to join the premier class in 2020 as a replacement for Hafizh Syahrin, thereby completing the KTM junior ladder i.e moving up from Moto3 to Moto2 and now MotoGP.
“Looking forward, it’s an incredible feeling, a crazy feeling to think that I’ll be racing in MotoGP next year,” said Binder, who becomes the first South African in the premier class since 200. “I just have to say a huge thank you to KTM for putting their trust in me.
“And taking me through to the premier class and yeah, I’m really excited to get started next year and see how things go next year. Next year I think my main goal will be to learn as quickly as possible and learn from the much more experienced guys on the KTMs.
“I obviously want to go there and do well straight away but in MotoGP, everything is extremely hard and super tight so you know, I’m sure it’ll take time to find my feet in MotoGP but I’m confident we can do a good job there.”
KTM Motorsport Director, Pit Beirer said: “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.”
And finally, Tech 3 KTM team manager, Herve Poncharal added: “We are only halfway through our first racing season in MotoGP with KTM, but already we have some incredible, exciting news coming with the signing of Brad Binder for the 2020 MotoGP season.
“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 have always been amazed by his talent, his aggressivity and his never-give-up-attitude and when you run a motorcycle race team, this is the profile of rider you wish and you love to have.
“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. I think Brad Binder more than deserves a MotoGP ride next year after what he has been showing in the Moto2 the past two seasons.
“I know KTM and I can witness KTM is working incredibly hard to improve the MotoGP bike and I’m quite sure that Brad with the winter test will be very happy and very fast from round one on that bike. It’s going to be a strong team, as I think there will be a great relationship between him and Miguel, his teammate and I honestly believe, I couldn’t dream for a better structure.
“Miguel and Brad know each other, they are both incredible competitors and when you are a team owner, this is all you wish for. So, 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 Pit Beirer for his investment, I would like to thank Niki Ruhstorfer for his support.
“I would also like to thank Bob Moore, Brad’s personal manager, because I think the four of us, we managed to make that happen and this is a great news for MotoGP racing and a great news for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team.
“I would like to say 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, why not fight for the title and we are ready to welcome him from the Valencia test.”
Since winning the 2016 Moto3 title, Binder moved to Moto2 with Red Bull KTM Ajo in 2017 and has raced for two full seasons, while he is in this third. He ended up third in 2018 and currently sits eighth in the standings with 84 points.