It was Brad Binder who smashed through the 100 Grand Prix wins for graduates from the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup with his superb victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix; he was in the midst of a fabulous Moto2 hat-trick that left him just three points off the top of the championship table at the end of the year.

The ex Moto3 World Champion has a total of 35 Grand Prix victories to his name and has no doubt about the biggest early step he took on his path to stardom. “Joining the Red Bull Rookies Cup was so crucial. Without it I would never have had the opportunity to get where I am now.”

It was a family thing and great times with great mates

“My dad was always my mechanic, it was great, for me it was no different to when we were here in South Africa before going into Rookies Cup, my dad prepared all my bikes and got everything prepped, he did all the engines, he did everything.”

“In those days if it rained I barely finished in the points. That made things a lot more difficult for me in the third year. It all came back to the fact that I’d never ridden in the rain. My first rain race was the Rookies Cup race at the Sachsenring.”

“I remember lining up on the grid and not knowing what to expect. We rode off from the start, the guys rode away from me a bit and then I just remember thinking, ‘jees, the grip’s amazing!’ I did a few laps passing a whole lot of riders… then slung it…. It was crazy, you know, a whole new game to get used to.”

“When I think back to Rookies Cup of course we had great races but really the fondest memories are the camaraderie with the other Rookies, memories of hanging out with Arthur (Sissis), we had a great time hanging around the paddock and the Red Bull Energy Station. A great life with a great bunch of guys all doing what we wanted to be doing. Just chilling out waiting for our session, it was so cool.”

The jump into Moto3 – a team thing
“It was definitely a big step. The way you ride the bike and everything is quite similar but one thing I found quite difficult to adapt to was that you have so much more strategy, with like tyres, you have telemetry to follow. Everything is more complex, you have to give so much more feedback to get your bike set up perfectly for yourself whereas in Rookies Cup we pretty much have a setting that works everywhere you go once you’ve found that.”
And now to MotoGP

“It started off very difficult, it was actually really tough to adapt to the MotoGP bike when we did the Valencia test at the end of last year. But each day I improved a little bit and got a little faster and then after the off season we went to Malaysia for the preseason test and things were much much better I was a lot quicker, more comfortable on the bike and I could really make sense of what it was doing.”

The full, much longer interview text is available on the Rookies Cup website:

Published by:  Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

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