Category Archives: FMN News South Africa


After a double victory in Aragon (round 1 of the 2021 World Supersport Championship which took place on 22-23 May), Steven Odendaal and Evan Bros. Racing Team continued their winning streak in Estoril last weekend, where they scored a third consecutive win in a dramatic first race on Saturday. Starting from the front row of the grid for the first time in his World Supersport career, Odendaal was on his way to clinch yet another win or a second position in the second race on Sunday, where he was only 0.1 seconds behind the race leader Dominique Aegerter when he was forced to retire due to a technical issue at the start of the final lap of the race. Odendaal was nevertheless able to maintain his championship lead with a 6-point advantage over Aegerter in second, heading into round 3 of the championship, which will take place in Misano (San Marino) on 12-13 June.

Steven Odendaal (1st position, DNF): “Going into the weekend after a double win, my goal was to qualify on the first two rows of the grid and finish on the podium in both races. I knew that this circuit would be a bit more challenging for my injured shoulder. The team and I worked really hard to give me the best possible feeling on the bike and we qualified on the front row. Both races saw some incredible battles because, same as last year, the times were very close this weekend and there were many riders who were able to stay with the leading group. I made a move on Philipp Oettl on the last lap of the first race to win the third race of the season. I knew that Sunday’s race would be very similar with many riders fighting for podium positions and I tried to manage my race and stay calm. I was in second going into the final lap and was studying Dominique Aegerter’s lines to make the move once again on the last lap. Unfortunately, my bike then stopped working and I had to pull over to make sure the bike was not leaking oil. We lost important points, as we were a few corners away from another win or a second position, but this is racing and the fact that we were in the front, fighting for the victory once again is more important at this stage of the championship. I would like to say huge thanks to the whole team for all their hard work and for giving me the package I needed to fight for the win in both races.”

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KTM’s first ever MotoGP race winner, Brad Binder, will remain part of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team for the next three years and will celebrate ten Grand Prix seasons in ‘orange’ by the end of the 2024 MotoGP campaign.

The 25-year-old South African progressed through the KTM GP Academy structure. He competed in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, earned Moto3™ world championship success as well as 15 Grand Prix wins in both the Moto3 and Moto2™ categories with the Red Bull KTM Ajo squad, and then seized the factory’s maiden victory in the premier class during his debut term on the KTM RC16 during 2020, where he also achieved the status of ‘Rookie of the Year’.

Brad posted a new milestone at the Gran Premio D’Italia last weekend by equaling the highest top speed in the history of the sport at 362.4 kmph during FP3 at Mugello.

The new contract brings extra continuity and strength to the KTM MotoGP program, and Binder’s fighting spirit symbolises the way the manufacturer brings themselves to the track ‘Ready to Race’.

Brad Binder:
“I’m super, super happy to have signed again for three more seasons with KTM and it will take us up to ten years. It’s incredible to have been with this manufacturer for such a long time now and we’ve always had a good relationship. I’m extremely happy in KTM colors so it’s extra satisfying to have a long contract signed-up. It’s cool to have that belief and support from a company. It’s an honor. From here on we can focus on building ourselves towards the front. We are not terribly far away, and it would be really nice to do something great together. It’s exciting to see what these next years will bring.”

Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director:
“This was a very easy contract for us to do because we love Brad as a racer and what he brings to the team, the factory and the MotoGP class. He was also very enthusiastic to make a big commitment to us and that says a lot for our progression and our potential in this championship. Sometimes you find a racer and a mentality that really fits with your own philosophy and the fact that Brad has come all the way to the top with us in a ten year period is a very special story. We’re really proud to continue racing with him and to keep setting new targets together.”

Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Race Manager:
“As Team Manager I’m happy that Brad has placed his trust in us for another three years. He’s a very strong rider with a strong crew and a strong factory behind him. We will push together to achieve our mutual dreams and targets. It’s great we have this partnership up to ’24.”

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KTM will count on two RC16s within the first three rows of the start grid for the Gran Premio Oakley D’Italia and the first of four rounds of MotoGP in the next five weeks. Brad Binder was the quickest of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing quartet at a warm Mugello.

The glorious setting and the sweeping corners of the Autodromo del Mugello made a welcome return to MotoGP after missing the calendar in 2020. The fast 5.2km layout staged its 35th Grand Prix for what is round six of the 2021 contest and counted on warm and dry late spring conditions.

The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing teams got straight to work optimizing the setting of the KTM RC16 to best suit the 15 turns of varying gradients and speed.

Brad Binder and teammate Miguel Oliveira were consistently hitting lap-times near the top of the leaderboard of the Free Practice sessions and also around the peak of the speed traps along the vast 1.1km straight. During FP3 on Saturday morning Brad equaled the fastest recorded figure in MotoGP history when his #33 KTM RC16 was clocked at 362.4 kmph.

The South African advanced directly to Q2. Brad reached as high as 3rd and was in contention for a front row slot until he rested in 6th for his highest qualification placing this season so far, just half a second from Pole Position.

The 23 laps and 120km of the Italian Grand Prix will begin at 14.00 CET on Sunday.

Brad Binder:
“I felt fast and I’m really happy to qualify 6th. I’ve been missing a decent qualification this season so far. The weekend has been going well and when I put in a soft tire I always seem to be able to find a decent lap-time. I couldn’t quite make the perfect lap today but I’m excited with the speed I have and to see what we can do in the race.”

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Today’s Gran Premio D’Italia Oakley saw Red Bull KTM’s Brad Binder equal his best classification of the year so far in 5th place.

Sunshine and 23-degree temperatures graced the return of MotoGP to the thrilling racetrack in the Tuscan hills north of Florence. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira started the 23-lap encounter from the second and third rows of the start grid and after the South African had guided the KTM RC16 to equal the highest ever MotoGP top speed on Saturday by clocking 362.4 kmph through the speed traps.

Although Brad made a lively launch he lost a couple of positions to hover in the lower top ten as he worked his tires and confidence up to effective race pace. The South African, making his first MotoGP run at Mugello, fought back to 5th and was less than 5 seconds from winner Fabio Quartararo at the flag.

The Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya will bring the championship together for the seventh fixture of the year next weekend.

Brad Binder:
“I’m happy with 5th today, even if I did want more but I had a crazy race. I almost tucked the front on the Sighting Lap, so I was trying to work out the conditions and why I felt different. I didn’t have a perfect start and then I was cautious on the first three laps. Marc [Marquez] rode into me and my airbag fired which meant I couldn’t move for almost a lap! After that I could finally get into a rhythm and chase the group in front of me although I didn’t quite have the pace to get through it. Anyway, I’m pleased with another top five and we’ll try to keep this momentum for the next races.”

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National Motocross Championship Round 3

In what proved to be an unforgettable weekend of racing, Red Bull KTM snatched up multiple victories at the third round of the National Motocross Championship in Welkom. It was a day of celebration for the entire orange team with MX1 star Tristan Purdon taking top honours, new-recruit Cameron Durow snatching the win in MX2, High School Class talent Jonathan Mlimi extending his points lead, and young gun Trey Cox defending the Pro Mini red plate.

All eyes were on 18-year-old Durow on Saturday, who made it clear from the moment the gates dropped this season that he would be a force to be reckoned with. After setting the fastest qualifying time, the youngster set off to snatch the MX2 victory he has patiently been waiting for since he last won a race in this class in 2019.

The rider started the day with a consistent pace and finished the first moto in second place. He came back swinging in the second moto and his blistering pace saw him get the holeshot. With an overall victory within his reach, Durow pulled an early lead and didn’t look back.

“This is the first time I’ve won in this class since 2019 – I’ve been injured four times since then! I even know the exact number of days since the last win and I’ve been working towards repeating that victory ever since. It meant a lot to me to finally achieve what I have been aiming at for so long,” said Durow.

Putting on yet another eye-catching performance was Red Bull KTM teammate Tristan Purdon. The rider couldn’t have asked for a better day in MX1 when he went 1-1 to take the victory overall. While MX2 proved to be a more challenging race for the rider, Purdon managed to end the day on the podium with a third place overall.

Having defended his points lead in both classes, the motocross star will once again line-up with both red plates in the next round. With his sights set on winning both championships this season, Purdon commented:

“Leading both championships isn’t easy and it comes with a lot of pressure. I’m handling it well because of the support I’ve been getting from the whole team and that makes me want to keep fighting. After MX2 this weekend I’ll be working on my starts leading up to the next round, but overall, I’m happy with the way everything played out.”

Red Bull KTM teammate Jonathan Mlimi was off to an impressive start this weekend when he took the holeshot in the first moto and lead the heat from start to finish. He had a challenging start in the second moto by his own high standards, but managed to fight his way back up to the front of the field to secure the victory overall.

“My KTM 125 SX handled so well – the setup was perfect! I learnt this weekend to be more patient when I’m in a battle to get to the front – I find when I rush the process I tend to make small mistakes. I’m really happy with the way the season is playing out and just plan to stay consistent – that always pays off in the end,” said Mlimi.

A cherry on the top of what was a successful day of racing for Red Bull KTM was yet another consistent performance from young gun Trey Cox. After setting off with the holeshot, the Pro Mini rider had an unfortunate crash in the first moto. With a determination to defend the red plate, he fought his way back up to fourth place. He came back swinging with a solid start in the second heat and held a consistent pace to finish the moto in second place.

“I’m so happy to have held onto the red plate. In the weeks leading up to the next round I’m going to work on eliminating small mistakes. I’m happy with my pace and learnt this weekend that it’s not over until it’s over – that ‘never give up’ attitude always pays off in the end,” said Cox.

Published by: Louwrens Mahoney