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KTM made history in Brno, Czech Republic yesterday as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder sensationally clinched the Austrian manufacturer’s first MotoGP victory in only his third premier class race aboard the KTM RC16.

Round three of the 2020 series will remain a poignant and memorable event for KTM, which entered the MotoGP series full-time in 2017 with the then newly-developed KTM RC16. The manufacturer has since enjoyed front row qualifying results and a podium finish prior to yesterday’s incredible victory, where rookie Binder rewarded the project’s efforts at the Automotodrom Brno.

Binder rode a calculated race, working his way through the front-runners from his seventh position on the grid to take the lead with nine laps to go of 21. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider went from strength-to-strength, stretching out a comfortable advantage to take his, KTM’s and South Africa’s first ever race win in MotoGP – the pinnacle of two-wheeled motorsport. Binder is also the first rookie to win a race since 2013. Teammate Pol Espargaró, who has played a pivotal role in KTM’s MotoGP campaign and enjoyed the manufacturer’s maiden podium in the class in 2018, was unlucky to miss out on the battle for victory in yesterday’s race after colliding with another rider in the fight for third place. Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira enjoyed his best finish in the class with sixth position.

KTM’s fourth season in the MotoGP category has proven exciting so far with the KTM RC16 battling at the sharp end of the field in the opening three races. The test team with rider Mika Kallio, who has been involved with the project from the beginning, along with MotoGP legend Dani Pedrosa has been fundamental in accelerating the development of the KTM RC16 in combination with the race team and engineers from KTM’s base in Munderfing and Mattighofen. In addition, this major sporting milestone for the brand also highlights KTM’s commitment to developing young riders as Binder has raced aboard orange machinery successfully in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, Moto3™, Moto2™ and now finally MotoGP.

Brad Binder: “Honestly, right now, I’m lost for words. I’ve dreamt of this since I was a little boy and today it came true. It is amazing to win my first GP [in MotoGP]. Thank you to everybody who supported me, and the whole team; they put an insane motorcycle beneath me today! I didn’t know if we could win but I knew we would have a go. It was the craziest ten laps of my life at the end. I was being as soft as I could. It was incredible. Unbelievable.”

Miguel Oliveira: “It was a good end to the weekend. We had a decent race and I feel that we have done a good job the entire weekend. Looking at the race, our starting position cost us a better result but we need to live with that and do a better job next race in just a few days’ time.”

Pol Espargaró: “It’s unfair but it is racing, and we have to deal with these things. I was behind Brad and watching the others and playing with the maps to be strong at the end. I felt I could make ‘58s in the last laps, so I was trying to be relaxed when the contact happened. I could not show my potential and win the first race for KTM but I’m happy for Brad because he’s a good guy and works hard. We had a real chance today and we’ll hope for another one very soon.”

Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Race Manager: “It was amazing today. All weekend we felt quite competitive on this track with good lap-times among the riders and we expected something from the race. Brad had the race pace and Pol was at the same point, and even though we could not be happier we could have had even more from this GP! Miguel also did great to take sixth so in general we are more than happy. We started this project in 2017 and many people have been involved. We built a complete infrastructure in KTM. People in the company had the right mentality because we had to push; we did not have the road racing history of other manufacturers we are competing against. When I look back at these three years there have been ups-and-downs but the pay-off has been unbelievable today. We’ve seen in Jerez – and again here – that we are much closer to the front. On this long, technical track at Brno, and with our different technical philosophy with a steel chassis and WP Suspension, we got the job done and it’s a great payback to every person who has been connected to the project. I’m very happy to give back something to the KTM board for the great investment they made, their 100% belief and our main sponsor who also had full belief in us. Now, we will go to our home Grand Prix and will work hard from FP1.”

Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director: “For KTM this is an unbelievable day. It’s historic for our company and for the whole team but of course for Brad Binder, who has believed in us and our project for many years. Today is payback for so much hard work. We knew we had a better bike for this year and this did not happen by accident: it came from everything we learned during the last years. With Dani Pedrosa, Mika Kallio and the test team we worked and developed for over a full year to have this bike now. At the end of the day you need a fantastic rider to put the bike on the top step and Brad did it today, and in the same style as he won in Moto3 and Moto2 races for us. It´s an incredible feeling and we will now build on this result. On the other hand, I want to thank Pol Espargaro because also he – together with his crew – brought every piece of the puzzle together to bring this project to the top. Today is the result of a fantastic team effort; at home in Munderfing and Mattighofen, through the test team and a great crew on track.”

Stefan Pierer, CEO KTM AG: “It is difficult to describe the intense emotions we feel on this very special and historic day for KTM. Firstly, I would like to congratulate Brad not only on his exceptional ride, but his loyalty and belief in KTM for many years – we will certainly enjoy this moment together. I would also like to share our thanks to Pol for his incredible effort in helping us achieve this victory; his work has been pivotal in the whole project and in reaching this point where we see our bikes near or at the front of the field. Since we began this program our ambition has been the same as it is for every racing discipline, and we knew that achieving our goals here would be exceptionally difficult, but not impossible. Step by step we have been moving closer and closer to the front, defying some expectations as we continued to believe in what we could achieve. To win a race in our fourth year in MotoGP is testament to the work ethic and knowhow of our KTM Motorsports department and R&D engineers. I would like to offer our special thanks to Pit Beirer and Mike Leitner for their lead in the project, and tireless work in making this program a success. Our vision is to create a clear pathway with our riders to the top, and this has been achieved with Brad following his success with KTM in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, Moto3 and Moto2. We now look forward to our ‘home’ races at the Red Bull Ring where we can celebrate this huge milestone in KTM’s story.”

Published by: Louwrens Mahoney


A huge crash during a practice session just before the SA SuperBike championship resumed after the Covid-19 enforced break saw Brett Roberts (Lights by Linea Yamaha R6) on the sidelines for round three of the 2020 championship which took place at Zwartkops Raceway on 7 & 8 August. Team leader David McFadden was, however, able to take two podium positions on his Stunt SA Yamaha R1.

In the first couple of events of the season, McFadden ran what was very much a stock 2020 Yamaha R1. Once the lockdown restrictions were relaxed slightly, now parts for the bike arrived and were fitted but there wasn’t any time to test them and develop a baseline setup before the team made the trip to Pretoria from Cape Town. Friday’s qualifying sessions were spent improving the bike, resulting in a starting position in the middle of the front row of the grid for Saturday’s races.

In the opening heat, McFadden tucked in behind Clint Seller and pole-sitter Garrick Vlok but didn’t have the pace to mount a challenge for the lead. With no pressure from the rest of the pack, McFadden decided to bank the points for third and come back to fight again in the next heat.

A few setup changes between the races paid early dividends as McFadden grabbed the hole-shot at the start of the second race. He was able to fend off attacks from Seller and Vlok in the early stages of the race, but eventually, both of them forced their way through. With the other riders, led by former champion Michael White, again some distance back, McFadden decided not to risk pushing the bike too hard and settled for third and the points that come with it.

Speaking at the end of the day, McFadden said, “Overall still a successful weekend scoring points and using the time in the saddle to collect data. We know of a few small improvements on the bike we need to do before the next round. The changes for race 2 were 100% a step in the right direction.”

The next national outing for the team is scheduled to take place at Red Star Raceway towards the end of September, however, with the uncertainty around the Covid-19 situation in the country, changes to that may occur.

In addition to the sponsorship from Stunt SA and Lights by Linea, the team acknowledges the support received from RST, Nix Graphics, Arata by Racetec, Forma Boots, TBR Engineering and Schuberth Helmets.

Published by: Paul Bedford (Action Images)

Picture Caption: David McFadden leads Clint Seller and Garrick Vlok


Round three of the 2020 WorldSBK campaign and the second of the two back-to-back race weekends for Steven Odendaal and his team EAB Ten Kate Racing Yamaha took place in Portimão, Portugal with another double header for the World SuperSport class.

Having only competed in three races (2 race weekends) so far since his debut in the WorldSBK championship, Steven Odendaal was determined to continue to learn and make progress aboard his Yamaha R6, a mission which he accomplished with a superb performance and a fourth position in Race 2. The South African now lies in 5th position in the provisional world championship standings in his debut season.

Steven Odendaal (Race 1 – 8th, Race 2 – 4th): “We finished the weekend off on a high note with a fourth position in the second race. I had a great start, I was up to 7th from 10th on the grid but on the second lap I had a huge moment. I was lucky to stay on board but it cost me a couple of positions. I felt really comfortable on the bike and got into a good rhythm, climbing up through the field. When I got into 4th half way through the 17-lap race, I was able to break away from the group behind me straight away and I saw on my pit board that I was closing on Isaac Viñales in third, however, the gap was just too difficult to close. I knew the team would appreciate a solid result to end the weekend so I decided to settle for fourth. We were doing the same lap times as the guys in second and third, which proves that we could have been on the podium if we qualified better on Saturday – this is something we need to focus on going forward. We worked really hard with the team throughout the weekend to identify a problem which held us back at the beginning of the weekend and in the first race and we made a big step forward in race 2. I enjoyed riding my R6 and we were competitive. I am really looking forward to the next race in Aragon (end of August) to confirm that we are going in the right direction to secure our first podium. Huge thanks to my team for all their hard work this weekend.”

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Please find enclosed the Press Release / FIM Grand Prix World Championship UPDATED 2020 Calendar.

Portimão to host 2020 MotoGP™ season finale
The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports recently announced the addition of a fifteenth Grand Prix to the 2020 FIM MotoGP™ World Championship calendar, with the event set to take place from the 20th to the 22nd of November and become the season finale.

The venue for the event can now be revealed as the incredible Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão, Portugal. The reserve track for MotoGP™ since 2017, the circuit will now make its debut on the calendar.

The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is truly unique, with its characteristic elevation changes and undulating layout earning it a reputation as a high-speed rollercoaster – a thrill ride for fans and competitors alike. The track will now welcome MotoGP™ back to Portugal for the first time since 2012, and the event will see Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) racing on home turf in the premier class for the first time.

Autodromo Internacional do Algarve CEO Paulo Pinheiro: “It is a great achievement for our team to finally have MotoGP at our racetrack! MotoGP is the pinnacle of two-wheeled motorsport, and we are so excited to have it.

 “It has been a long process with Dorna, we had an agreement in place since 2017, and finally all the hard work paid off. On top of this to have Miguel Oliveira on the MotoGP grid, being able to fight for the podium will be an amazing add on for this race, and hopefully the Championship will be decided here.
 “We are working to have the fans in our race, and we will start with a capacity of 30.000 fans for the race weekend and then we will decide with Dorna and the sanitary authorities the following stages.

 “We can’t express how happy we are to have this race.”

Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta: “It’s big news for us, we signed an agreement in 2017 with Portimao to be the reserve circuit for any kinds of cancellations, and we’ve been in contact with them all this time. We’ve been to Portimão with Superbike and we think it’s an amazing possibility for us, and also in the agreement is that the track will be resurfaced after the Superbike round. When we explained this to the riders they were excited because they’ve seen the track on TV, but we’ve never been there.
 “Portugal has a long history in our sport and there have been some historic battles in Estoril. It’s something very good for us to have the possibility to go back to Portugal, especially with Miguel Oliveira participating as it’s great to have a Portuguese rider able to compete in his own country. We are extremely happy to be racing in Portimão at the end of the year.”

FIM President Jorge Viegas: “I am very proud that MotoGP will return to my country eight years after the last Grand Prix, which took place at the Circuito do Estoril in May 2012. I would like to warmly thank Dorna, the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve and the Motorcycling Federation of Portugal for having managed to meet the necessary conditions for the organisation of the finale of the 2020 FIM Grand Prix World Championship to take place in Portugal.”

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