Brad Binder crowned MotoGP Rookie of the Year 2020
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PORTIMAO, PORTUGAL - There was a big silver lining for South Africa’s Brad Binder on Sunday after the Red Bull KTM rider crashed out of the Portugese MotoGP at the Algarve circuit. When the year’s points were tallied up Binder still had enough to be officially crowned 2020 Rookie of the Year.
With 87 points to his name, Binder finished 11th in the championship, putting him ahead of Alex Marquez in the rookie race, the latter having earned 74 points to put him in 14th place. The 2020 MotoGP championship was won by Suzuki’s Joan Mir, with 171 points, and he is followed by Franco Morbidellia (Yamaha) and Alex Rins (Suzuki).
Binder had South Africans beaming with pride on August 9 when he claimed his maiden MotoGP victory at the Czech Republic Grand Prix in Brno. In doing so, Binder became the South African to win MotoGP’s premier class, as well as the first by a rookie to win since 2013
Reflecting on the year that was 2020, Brad Binder described his MotoGP season as tough but fantastic:
“All-in-all my rookie year has come to a close and we managed to wrap the Rookie of the Year award, which was a goal starting the season. It’s been a tough but fantastic season with big highs and low lows! I think all of it will build me up to be a stronger rider next season.
“I want to say a massive thank you to everyone in the box and the entire team. The feeling is great and we have a competitive package for sure.”
Binder will remain with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing outfit when the MotoGP action resumes in 2021, but he will have a new team-mate in the form of Miguel Oliviera, who dominated the Portugese Grand Prix this weekend on his last outing in the Tech 3 KTM.