Brad Binder is a two-time MotoGP race winner and the first South African to ever win in the premier class. Last month he also became the first rider in 30 years to set a benchmark lap time around Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, the famous SA track that lies north of Johannesburg and just an hour from Binder’s hometown of Krugersdorp.
Over the past decade Binder has been rising through the world motorcycle grand prix racing ranks, winning the 2016 Moto3 World Championship and finishing runner up in the 2019 Moto2 world title race. Since 2020 he has been a spearhead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing in MotoGP, taking a maiden win at the 2020 Czech Grand Prix and a second victory in trying conditions at the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix.
In the lead up to this year’s edition of the Austrian event, Binder had the chance to return to South Africa to set a ‘Superlap’ on the current 4.529km layout of Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. Using a 2019 KTM RC16 the 27-year-old had the chance to lap his home circuit at speed, an experience he described as “incredible”. Binder said:
“Today was incredible, it was so much fun to go out and get the chance to ride the MotoGP bike around such an amazing track. A track that I grew up riding on.
“Just to go through Turn 1 at this track is quite special because it’s quite unique, there’s nothing else like it out there and it feels cool to be sixth gear flat out and lean over on a MotoGP bike. It’s special to know that we will hold the record for a while I would imagine.”
In addition to lapping Kyalami in a new fastest time, Binder was afforded the opportunity to ride the race-spec bike on South African roads as part of a light-hearted action edit that followed his preparation for the lap.
“It’s been super fun, it’s something I never thought I would do in my life, riding a MotoGP bike around in some iconic spots all over Johannesburg,” Binder added.
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Also appearing in the action edit is South African rugby captain Siya Kolisi, 13-time F1 Grand Prix winner David Coulthard and local comedian Jason Goliath, the latter describing the project as more than a racing event. “What this does is, it shows our beauty, it shows our culture,” Goliath said.
The last rider to set a record lap around Kyalami on a premier class bike was Australia’s Wayne Gardner at the 1992 South African Motorcycle Grand Prix. On a different track layout to that raced by Gardner, Binder set the standard for a modern-era MotoGP bike at 1m 42.260s.
This weekend Binder and his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team return to the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Motorcycle Grand Prix. The South African is the defending winner, after sealing an astounding victory in 2021 when he remained on dry tyres in wet conditions to cross the line ahead of his rivals who had pitted for wet tyres.