SA's Binder to ride alongside former team mate Oliveira in 2021
Munderfing, Austria - The KTM MotoGP team has announced that South African Brad Binder will be paired with former Moto2 and Moto3 team mate Miguel Oliveira of Portugal in the 2021 MotoGP season.
“Brad and Miguel have a productive working relationship and have shown the talent and the desire to win races through all stages of grand prix,” said KTM boss Pit Beirer.
“We believe they have the determination necessary to push our MotoGP project forward."
24-year-old Binder has yet to make his MotoGP debut in 2020, but has signed a new contract to remain in Red Bull KTM Factory Racing colors for 2021. He has been part of the Red Bull KTM family since 2015 and became the company’s third Moto3 World Champion in 2016.
“Binder and Oliveira are familiar with each other’s characters and working methods having previously been teammates in the Red Bull KTM Ajo squad in Moto3 in 2015 and then Moto2 in 2017 and 2018,” the team said in a statement.
“They have appeared on a Grand Prix podium together six times: notably three in a row towards the end of the 2017 Moto2 championship.”
Pol Espargaro will leave the KTM factory team to make way for Oliveira. The Spaniard is widely expected to move to Repsol Honda alongside Marc Marquez in place of the reigning world champion’s brother Alex.
Meanwhile experienced Italian MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci will leave Ducati and race for the non-factory Tech3 KTM team in 2021, the Austrian manufacturer also announced on Thursday.
The departure was expected, with Ducati having already signed Australian Jack Miller for next year and Andrea Dovizioso set to stay.
Petrucci, 29, will partner young Spaniard Iker Lecuona at Tech3, as Oliveira moves up to the factory team.
Alex Marquez, the Moto2 champion who has yet to race in the top category, has been tipped for a move to the non-works LCR Honda team.
IOL & Reuters