Jaco Van Der Merwe
Head of Motoring
2 minute read
19 Apr 2021
11:20 am

‘Rossi-like’ Binder keeps on making fans

Jaco Van Der Merwe

South African KTM rider unlucky not to finish MotoGP race on podium.

Brad Binder is eighth in the MotoGP world championship standings.

 

He might have missed out on a podium place at the Portuguese MotoGP at Portimao on Sunday, but Brad Binder’s blistering form bodes well for the rest of the season.

After starting the race in 15th position on the grid, the South African made up seven places on the first lap and eventually finished in fifth place. With Fabio Quartararo blazing to a comfortable win, Binder had both second-placed Francesco Bagnaia and third-placed Juan Mir in his sights and could have had a stab at the podium had he had the benefit of just a few more laps.

Binder’s impressive ride had the television commentators comparing the Red Bull KTM rider to the great Valentino Rossi for consistently producing the goods on race day despite not always having the best starting position.

“Happy to get our first top five of the season,” Binder said.

“I really wanted to be on the podium today and thought we had the potential to be there with about five laps to go. I pushed as hard as I could but I couldn’t put the key clean laps together at the end as much as I wanted. Overall, I gave my absolute best today and didn’t leave anything on the table.”

Despite Binder’s team-mate Miguel Oliveira finishing outside the points on his home track on which he recorded his maiden MotoGP win last year, KTM Race Manager Mike Leitner was happy with the team’s performance.

“After last year’s win here we expected to have a good race and Brad produced a great race. He managed the tires well and ended-up close to the podium positions,” said Leitner.

The 11 points Binder scored in Portugal sees him move up to 21 points and eighth place in the world championship, trailing leader Quartararo by 40 points.

It will be a case of when rather than if eight-time champions Marc Marquez will also join the leading title contenders after making his return after on Sunday with a seventh-place finish. The next stop this season is on the Spaniard’s home track at the Circuito de Jerez.

Brad’s youngster brother Darryn finished well off the pace in 20th place in Moto3 on Sunday. The Petronas Spring Racing rider is joint third in the world championship standings on 36 points, trailing KTM pair of Pedro Acosta and Jaume Masia by 34 and three points respectively.