Home Sport SA’s Brad Binder stuns with first MotoGP victory

SA’s Brad Binder stuns with first MotoGP victory

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Binder became the South African to win MotoGP’s premier class, as well as the first by a rookie to win since 2013.

South Africa’s Brad Binder. Picture: Alberto Saiz, AP Photo

Staff Reporter, Brno, Czech Republic – South Africa’s Brad Binder stunned his home country as well as the international motorsport community on Sunday when he claimed his maiden MotoGP victory at the Czech Republic Grand Prix in Brno.

In doing so, Binder became the South African to win MotoGP’s premier class, as well as the first by a rookie to win since 2013. Incidentally, it was none other than Marc Marquez that took that honour seven years ago.

“Honestly, right now I’m lost for words,” said an expectedly emotional Binder after the race.

“This is a day I’ve dreamed about since I was a little boy. Today, it came true. I really wish my parents were here because they were the ones that backed me from the beginning.

“I can’t thank my team enough. They put an absolutely insane motorbike underneath me this weekend. Thank you to everyone at home for always supporting me. I hope that this is the start of many more.”

How it happened

With nine laps remaining, the KTM rookie Binder chased down early leader Franco Morbidelli of Petronas Yamaha before holding his nerve to seal victory in only his third start in the premier class. By the end of the race, Binder, who had qualified in seventh position, had stretched his lead to five seconds over Morbidelli.

Johann Zarco, who claimed a first MotoGP pole position for Avintia Ducati on Saturday, completed an unexpected podium. Championship leader Fabio Quartararo finished a disappointing seventh after struggling for grip.

Valentino Rossi came fifth on his Yamaha, while teammate Maverick Vinales’s 14th-placed finish meant no Spaniard made it to the MotoGP podium for the first time since the British Grand Prix in 2015.

In a frustrating day for Ducati’s factory team, Andrea Dovizioso finished over 16 seconds off the winning pace in 11th, one place ahead of teammate Danilo Petrucci.

In the absence of world champion Marc Marquez, teammate and younger brother Alex took the last point for Repsol Honda with a 15th-placed finish.

The victory moved Binder up to fifth place in the MotoGP championship, where he now has 28 points. Fabio Quartararo still leads the standings with 59 points.

IOL & Reuters