After a breakout year in Moto2 back in 2019, contending for the championship all year before finally finishing second, KTM made the call to promote Binder to the premier class for the 2020 season.
During his rookie year, chaos reigned supreme, both on and off the track. Several new contenders emerged as the perennial title favorite, Marc Marquez, sustained a season-ending injury, and opened the door for a new champion. After Yamaha set the early pace and nobody seemed able to stay on the Honda vacated by Marquez, the South African rookie seemingly came out of nowhere to win the 3rd race of the season at the Brno circuit.
Not only was that his first victory, but the first victory for a South African in MotoGP, the first victory for KTM as a manufacturer and the first time a rookie had won a race since Marquez made his explosive debut.
10 Red Bull MotoGP Rookie
Binder is one of the many premier class riders to come through the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, a grassroots racing series for young up-and-coming motorcycle riders.
It is a nod to the effort and investment Red Bull have made in nurturing young talent over the years. His efforts there helped him land a Moto3 ride in 2012.
9 Ex Moto3 Champion
After a few anonymous years in Moto3, Binder got into the swing of things by 2016, winning the Moto3 title that year.
That would prove to be a pivotal year for him as that opened the door for the next step, a Moto2 ride that would put him well and truly on the KTM factory teams radar.
8 Rookie Of The Year, 2020
After finishing the 2019 season strong, he had effectively secured a step-up to the big stage, only at the time he thought he would be linking up with the Tech3 team. At the time, Oliveira declined the opportunity to move to the main factory team, electing to stay with the Tech3 team for another season, opening the door for Binder to hop directly onto the hot seat vacated by Johann Zarco.
It was the opportunity of a lifetime, and he would reward the faith they showed in him by making history and winning his 3rd race with the team. After that sensational performance the rest of the season was a bit of a mixed bag, he still claimed rookie of the year thanks largely to that win, something no other rookie could replicate.
7 All Or Nothing First Season
In his first three races he finished 13th, crashed out of the second race and then came 1st in the third race.
The season would continue more or less like that, crashing out a further three times and getting another three top 10 finishes. It was clear that he was still trying to find the limits of his skill and the KTM.
6 Maturing Quickly
In his second season his class started to show, his lap times became ever more consistent which helped him finish in the points in almost every race of the season (only failing to get points on one occasion, when he crashed out).
By the time the 2021 season was done, he finished a very respectable 6th overall in the championship.
5 Fortune Favors The Brave
Although he was far more consistent, that didn’t mean he would spend the entire season in the midfield.
After sitting in a solid 6th for most of the Austrian Grand Prix, he looked all set for another solid points haul, only for the rain to start falling in the final few laps. He was the only front-runner who opted to stay out on slicks and managed to hold on to the victory by the skin of his teeth.
4 Sunday Specialist
Binder has become one of the most entertaining riders to watch come race day, often making more passes than anyone else on the grid.
His consistent race pace means he is always a contender on Sunday, but it also reveals a problem for both him and KTM. His one lap pace is pretty awful, although he is able to lap consistently, they are not able to get the bike hooked up for qualifying.
3 Riding With KTM
It is abundantly clear that the KTM is a different animal compared to the other bikes out on track. It is incredibly powerful, massively fast down the straights, and is able to brake later than any of the other machines.
It, much like the Ducatis, does not do particularly well in the corners. KTM are also the only team to run a steel trellis frame, and although it is stiff, it is also heavy, so riding the RC16 is completely different to most of the other MotoGP bikes and requires a unique skill set.
2 Brothers Unite
For the 2022 season there are no less than three sets of brothers on the grid, one of those sets is the Binder brothers.
Darryn made the leap straight from Moto3 to MotoGP, joining his older brother this year. He finished just outside the points in his first race.
1 Seeking Higher Honors
In that same race, Brad finished 2nd to Enea Bastianini who won his first MotoGP race in the explosive season opener.
It is clear that both he and KTM are seeking higher honors this year, although qualifying might be a bit of a lottery for them, you can bet your bottom dollar he will be right up there come race day.