Rookie Brad Binder wins Brno MotoGP race

Brad Binder
Brad Binder

In an unearthly, unpredictable, MotoGP race at the Monster Energy Czech Republic Grand Prix, South African Brad binder – in just his third premier class race – stormed to an emotional first win to become the first rookie since Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) to win in MotoGP. Binder won by over five seconds to lead Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) over the line as the Italian picks up his first MotoGP rostrum, with polesitter Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) – despite taking a long lap penalty for an incident with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – taking a memorable podium.

With nine laps remaining, South African rookie Binder overhauled early leader Franco Morbidelli of Petronas Yamaha before holding his nerve to seal victory in only his third start in the premier class.

“Right now I'm lost for words," Binder said. “This was a dream I had when I was little kid. Thanks to everyone for supporting me.

“Hats off to my team, they did an unbelievable job. Hopefully it's a first of many."

“I'm overwhelmed right now and just enjoying the moment," Morbidelli said. “I saw Brad catching me but I decided not to do anything silly. Now we go to Austria with great joy."

How it happened

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]As the lights went out at the Czech Adrenaline Factory, Zarco couldn’t get the GP19 hooked up off the line with his hole shot device as the Frenchman slipped backwards, with the two Petronas Yamaha SRT riders getting good launches. Fabio Quartararo led into the first corner but was slightly wide, allowing Morbidelli to slip through and take the lead. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) also got away well from P4 to grab P3, which was soon P2 at Turn 4 as the Spaniard carved past the Championship leader, with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing bikes of Pol Espargaro and Binder making a great start to sit 4th and 5th, with Zarco down to P6.

Binder was then a man on a mission. The South African cut through teammate Espargaro and then got by the latter’s brother on the Aprilia with ease, and soon he was right on the tailpipes of Quartararo. The Frenchman was a second off Morbidelli as that gap stayed pretty consistent in the opening few laps, hovering between 1 and 1.3 seconds. Pol Espargaro was getting impatient behind Zarco after losing out to the pole man, but after a failed attempt the lap before, the number 44 was through at Turn 3 on Lap 6 and immediately set sights on his teammate and Quartararo, and the battle for second soon became a double factory KTM vs Quartararo fight.

Binder was then through on El Diablo on Lap 9. Turn 3 the chosen place, Binder was slightly wide but the rookie made it stick and, then, Pol Espargaro was through. However, the Spaniard was wide at Turn 13 and lost the place, before huge drama then unfolded at Turn 1 on Lap 10.

Espargaro was wide at Turn 1, but not by much. Zarco, just behind, was on the inside line and as Espargaro swept back to get the run up through Turn 2, there was contact between the two. Zarco’s front wheel came in contact with Espargaro’s body and the KTM man was out – heartbreak for the latter as Race Direction began to look at the incident, later handing Zarco a long lap penalty. How costly could that be for Zarco?

There may have been heartbreak for one orange bike, but up the road, Binder wasn’t showing any signs of slowing up. With Binder past Quartararo, another Petronas Yamaha bike was about to feel the wrath. The 33 reeled in Morbidelli with ease and with nine laps left in Brno, Binder led a MotoGP race for the first time – but you wouldn’t have thought it. Immediately, Binder started to stride clear of Morbidelli and on the same lap, Zarco took the long lap penalty. And the Frenchman couldn’t have nailed it better, some spectacular riding saw Zarco sweep round the outside of Turn 7 like his tires were glued to the asphalt. An unreal and pinpoint piece of riding saw Zarco emerge just ahead of Quartararo as the latter clear hit tire troubles at the mid-point, with Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3) starting to hunt him in.

Miguel Oliveira takes a wild spill
Miguel Oliveira takes a wild spill

Up front, all eyes were on someone who was quickly making a name for himself just two and a half races into his MotoGP career. Morbidelli simply had no answer to Binder’s ridiculous pace and South Africa’s new sporting hero was leaving his more experienced competitors in his wake. With seven laps to go the gap was up to a second and a couple of laps later, the lead was 2.1. Was this really it for KTM?

Meanwhile, the Championship leader was in a spot of bother. Rins – still riding injured by the way – was swarming and slid underneath the YZR-M1 rider at Turn 4 with five laps to go, with nine-time World Champion Rossi soon following suit on the same lap. Quartararo quickly found himself lingering down in sixth, with Oliveira now smelling blood too. With four laps to go, Quartararo fell victim to Oliveira and at the front, Binder’s lead soon surpassed the three-second barrier as dreams started to turn into a reality for KTM.

Two to go then. Binder – barring a mistake – was in dreamland had this wrapped up. Morbidelli was safe in second but Zarco was far from safe in the final podium spot. Rins was hot on the heels of the Ducati and Zarco was clearly struggling with rear grip and with two to go, the gap was 0.6 between the GP19 and GSX-RR. That was soon nothing however and Zarco had a nervous final lap coming up.

Binder had a nervous final lap coming up too, but for very different reasons. Binder’s lead was over four seconds and this was it for him and KTM. More than four years of tireless work from the Austrian factory were about to become worth it as a new MotoGP star was being born. Binder made no such error and brought his RC-16 home to etch his name into premier class and KTM folklore. Childhood dreams realized across the board. KTM have arrived to the party, Brad Binder has arrived to the party as MotoGP delivers the goods again. Morbidelli brought his Yamaha home to secure a fantastic maiden MotoGP podium in second, the Italian had a special weekend in the Czech Republic, and he now moves into P3 in the overall standings.

Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Constructor Time/Gap
1 Binder Brad 33 RSA 25 KTM 41'38.764
2 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA 20 Yamaha 5.266
3 Zarco Johann 5 FRA 16 Ducati 6.470
4 Rins Alex 42 SPA 13 Suzuki 6.609
5 Rossi Valentino 46 ITA 11 Yamaha 7.517
6 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR 10 KTM 7.969
7 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA 9 Yamaha 11.827
8 Nakagami Takaaki 30 JPN 8 Honda 12.862
9 Miller Jack 43 AUS 7 Ducati 15.013
10 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA 6 Aprilia 15.087
11 Dovizioso Andrea 4 ITA 5 Ducati 16.455
12 Petrucci Danilo 9 ITA 4 Ducati 18.506
13 Crutchlow Cal 35 GBR 3 Honda 18.736
14 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA 2 Yamaha 19.720
15 Marquez Alex 73 SPA 1 Honda 24.597
16 Rabat Tito 53 SPA 0 Ducati 29.004
17 Smith Bradley 38 GBR 0 Aprilia 32.290
18 Bradl Stefan 6 GER 0 Honda 55.977
19 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA 0 KTM DNF
20 Mir Joan 36 SPA 0 Suzuki DNF
21 Lecouna Iker 27 SPA 0 KTM DNF

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor
1 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA 59 Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha
2 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA 42 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
3 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA 31 Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha
4 Dovizioso Andrea 4 ITA 31 Ducati Team Ducati
5 Binder Brad 33 RSA 28 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
6 Zarco Johann 5 FRA 28 Esponsorama Racing Ducati
7 Rossi Valentino 46 ITA 27 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
8 Nakagami Takaaki 30 JPN 27 LCR Honda Honda
9 Miller Jack 43 AUS 20 Pramac Racing Ducati
10 Rins Alex 42 SPA 19 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
11 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA 19 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
12 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR 18 Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM
13 Marquez Alex 73 SPA 13 Repsol Honda Team Honda
14 Petrucci Danilo 9 ITA 11 Ducati Team Ducati
15 Mir Joan 36 SPA 11 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
16 Bagnaia Francesco 63 ITA 9 Pramac Racing Ducati
17 Rabat Tito 53 SPA 7 Esponsorama Racing Ducati
18 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA 6 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
19 Crutchlow Cal 35 GBR 6 LCR Honda Honda
20 Smith Bradley 38 GBR 5 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia

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