Whether it’s his MotoGP bike or a mountain bike, Brad is quite comfortable with both.
JOHANNESBURG – Brad Binder seems an affable chap, an ordinary bloke who enjoys a bit of fishing, a lot of motocross and a braai or two, but when on a MotoGP bike he does extraordinary things.
He also is not adverse to testing his limits, such as taking on a 265km mountain bike race this weekend between Glencairn Farm in Underberg to Scottburgh on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.
“Ja, at the moment my plan is to, well I’m actually, well I love riding motocross,” said Binder, who is now enjoying a couple of weeks off after a breakthrough debut year in the elite class of motorcycle racing.
“I like a bit of fishing, to be honest. I like to do all normal things when I have the time. I’m actually doing the sani2c mountain bike race this week … which should be really cool.
“I’ve always wanted to do it but I’ve never been home in time for it, so this is a good opportunity for me to tick things off the bucket list.
“I’ve actually been training since the end of the season non-stop and I just want to pretty much do this race this weekend, take a week or two off and then start buckling down and get ready for next season.”
And Binder deserves his time off, even if it is while tackling the Drakensberg, then the KZN midlands and the Umkomaas Valley on a pedal-powered bike over three days.
The 25-year-old finished this past MotoGP season as the Rookie of the Year, finishing 11th in the drivers’ standings, and also became the first South African to win a Grand Prix in the elite class when he stormed to victory at the Czech Republic in only his third race for the KTM factory team.
“It was awesome to get my first victory for sure. It was amazing to basically just get a victory that early on in my MotoGP career,” said Binder.
“Honestly, nothing has changed,” he went on to explain about his new found fame. “It has sunk in that I’ve won a Grand Prix and I’ve noticed here in South Africa that maybe a few more people recognise me but other than that, everything has stayed exactly the same … which I am actually really happy about. A little bit more busy, for sure. I’ve got a bit more interviews to do and a bit more travelling, but other than that, everything else is definitely, I’d say, gone forward in a positive way.”
That reassuring start to his MotoGP career will ultimately leave Binder in good stead. And although it was the perfect way to begin his odyssey, the humble and pragmatic Binder has his sights set on one prize, and he wants to claim it for SA.
“I’m really, really fortunate to have such a huge backing here in South Africa,” said Binder.
“The support I have is absolutely incredible … It is incredible to see how many people seem to enjoy and follow racing so closely. There is nothing I’d like more than to bring a world championship home.
“Let’s see …
“I think it is something that is possible and I’ve got such incredible support it just really motivates me to try and do that little bit extra and make sure I can do a good job and accomplish what I set out to do.”
Will it happen next year? Improbable, but not impossible. If he keeps true to himself and remains focussed, with his talent, and support both in SA and abroad “BB” will fly the flag high.