Moto3: ‘Sacrifices paid off’ for champion Binder
New Moto3 world champion Brad Binder – the first ever rider to win a Grand Prix championship with four rounds in hand – says that finally tasting title success has made his sacrifices worthwhile.
Moving from his native South Africa to Europe to begin his racing career, the 21-year-old says that his success is due in large part to the faith his parents put in him a decade ago.
"I am very grateful to my parents; they have made great sacrifices so that I could be here. We came to Europe when I was 12 so I could ride, and this the first time we feel that all this effort has really paid off. In addition, I have a great team behind me: Aki Ajo and each of the members of the Red Bull KTM Ajo team.”
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And while his title win might boost the popularity of the sport back in his native country, he admitted that he still doesn’t see any way for riding talent to progress without heading to Europe at a young age.
"For a South African, the best thing you can do is probably try to enter the Red Bull Rookies Cup. For me it was a decisive turning point to getting into the World Championship. In South Africa there aren’t the strong competitions that there are in Spain, for example, that allow you to grow as a rider. However, since I was 12 years old I've been competing against the same rivals and this is very good."
But while he might have some way to go to make it to the pinnacle of the sport in MotoGP, Binder is already excited about a big step forwards for 2017 as he remains with KTM for their first foray into Moto2.
"I am just going to go out there and see how things go. You can see that when other riders have made the move from Moto3, it has been a tough step up. Honestly, I just want to work hard, take things lap by lap. Maybe it will not be the first or second year, but I am convinced that I will reach the top one day.”