Johannesburg - You can imagine the kind of after-party a Red Bull-sponsored motorcycle racer has after securing a World Championship.
We’e picturing energy drinks flowing freely from ice statues. Hotel furniture floating in pools. Bikini-clad women dancing in giant Martini glasses. Movie calibre stuff. Not the kind of thing you want to wake up from on a Monday morning.
Of course, we don’t actually know what went down in Aragon on Sunday night because we weren’t there. But we were banging on Brad Binder’s hotel room door (electronically speaking) early on Monday with a list of questions for the newly crowned champ. Sorry Brad, but the media beckons. Interviews are part of the job, buddy.
Binder, the 21-year old rider responsible for the South African national anthem blaring from TVs in all four corners of the globe, wrapped up the Moto3 title in Spain on Sunday with four races in hand. The Krugersdorp High boy has taken his 250cc Red Bull KTM Ajo to the top step of the podium in five out of 14 races so far in 2016, and in doing so became the first South African motorcycle Grand Prix world champion since Jon Ekerold took the 350cc title on his privately entered Bimota in 1980.
That’s 36 years, people. More than enough reason for Binder, his team, and all of Mzansi to celebrate.
With hangovers in mind, we eased into the conversation with some fun questions to start out. We found out his daily driver is a Jeep Wrangler with which he creates his own parking. He likes the original Red Bull flavour best. And he doesn’t clean the champagne residue from his leathers himself after all the podium soakings (11 times so far this year).
From there we got into the nitty gritty, such as the road to getting to where he is now, and what the future holds.
Adams: So, who does clean your leathers after podium ceremonies?
Binder: My leathers sponsor is Ixon. When I come off the podium they take them and give them a good clean and dry so theyâ€™re ready for the next race.
Adams: Where and how did you start racing?
Binder: I started racing in karts in South Africa. I wanted to race motocross but my brother (Darryn, who also races in Moto3) wanted to race karts. We did a bit of both in the beginning.
Adams: How did you get your big break in Europe?
Binder: When I was 12 I went to England to participate in the Aprilia Superteen Championship.
(Binder did a few races in the one-make Aprilia formula in 2008 but was quickly recruited to race in the Red Bull Rookies Cup - a grooming series that follows the MotoGP roadshow to most races around the world. From there he moved to Moto3 where he replaced an injured Luis Salom at five races in 2011. 2012 was Binder’s first full season in Moto3).
Adams: Are you and your family out of pocket to get this far? Was the rise an expensive process?
Binder: Of course. We’ve all had to make sacrifices to get me here today. I cannot thank my parents enough for everything they’ve done.
Adams: Have you ridden your new Moto2 bike yet?
Binder: I was lucky enough to get 10 laps on it in Valencia. It was a lot of fun.
Adams: Would you be quick on a bigger World Superbike or MotoGP bike if you were asked to test one today?
Binder: Probably not. Everything takes time. You need to get used to a bigger bike. But I think if I carry on working hard, one day I’ll get there.
Adams: What’s your favourite South African dish?
Binder: You know, you can’t beat a good a braai. Sometimes when I have South African mates over we try to do it in Spain, but it’s never quite the same.
Adams: What’s your favourite circuit in the world, and in South Africa?
Binder: My favourite track is probably Phillip Island, and when I’m back home in South Africa it has to be Kyalami.
Adams: What’s your favourite road bike?
Binder: If I had to choose I’d take a KTM Super Duke.
Adams: And road car?
Binder: I really like the Audi R8.
Adams: How often do you get back to South Africa?
Binder: Unfortunately I only get back in December. The rest of the time I live in Europe.
Follow Jesse Adams on Twitter @PoorBoyLtd