Rookie Brad Binder of South Africa has won the Czech GP at the tough Brno Circuit for the factory Red Bull KTM Racing Team.
In only their fourth season in premier MotoGP class, Europe’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer from Austria has won a race in the premiere MotoGP class. It was in September 2014, that Pit Beirer announced that KTM were to start in MotoGP starting from 2017.
It was only his 3rd MotoGP race, and Binder is the first rookie to win in the premier class since Marc Marquez.
“I could not believe it! When I saw the chequered flag it was something that I imagined since I was a little boy. I wished my parents were here today. They supported me all my life! My KTM RC16 is unbelievable today. The last 3 laps were really hot and we knew the tires were gone but we managed to hang on,” said Binder after the race.
Mid race, it seems that it was possible for a KTM 1-2 finish as team mate Pol Espargaro was battling for 3rd when a collision with Zarco took him out of the race. It was a racing incident, but subsequently, Zarco was given a long lap penalty.
Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Franco Morbidelli was second for his first MotoGP podium. Meanwhile, today’s pole winner Johan Zarco of Avintia Ducati was 3rd, his first podium for Ducati.
“The team is very happy because I did not expect a top three in just our 3rd race together. Ducati has put big trust in me and the team so thank you! Lucky for me, when I took the long lap penalty, I did not lose so much position,” said Zarco.
At this point last year Zarco was not even sure if he would race this year as he prematurely ended his contract with KTM after not getting to grips with the bike.
KTM’s last year hired recently retired Honda rider Danny Pedrosa to lead the testing and developments and it seems that KTM’s trust in him were rewarded today.
Suzuki’s Alex Rins was fourth while Monster Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi rode to a strong 5th place.
Championship leader Fabio Quartaro held 2nd position until the later part if the race when his tires started to go off. He would slide down the order to finish in 7th place.
After dominating in off road racing, KTM decided to enter roadracing in 2003. Initially in the small 125cc GP class then to Moto3, Moto2 and finally MotoGP in 2017. They have now won in every GP category that they have competed in.
1. B. Binder KTM 2. F. Morbidelli Yamaha 3. J. Zarco Ducati 4. Á. Rins Suzuki 5. V. Rossi Yamaha 6. M. Oliveira KTM 7. F. Quartararo Yamaha 8. T. Nakagami 9. J. Miller Ducati 10. A. Espargaró Aprilia 11. A. Dovizioso Ducati 12. D. Petrucci Ducati 13. C. Crutchlow 14. M. Viñales Yamaha 15. Á. Márquez 16. T. Rabat Ducati 17. B. Smith Aprilia 18. S. Bradl 19. P. Espargaró KTM DNF 20. J. Mir Suzuki DNF 21. I. Lecuona KTM DNF