The South African was just behind Johann Zarco’s Ducati when he collided with a rider racing at full throttle with Franco Morbidelli’s Yamaha. Zarco and Morbidelli were sent flying while their bikes were being carried, becoming potentially deadly projectiles.
“Honestly, I don’t even want to think,” he admits. “The bike is probably still running at over 200 km / h. A bike at 185 km / h is flying near 200 km / h. Everyone knows how it will end if it hits someone. think.”
Binders say there is always a risk of racing.
“It’s a danger that everyone knows. We really stay in the depths of our hearts and try not to think. Unfortunately, the only way to do this job is to work on things that way. Risks and What can happen, I don’t think you can do this job to make a living. “
Roller coaster week
Binder finished in 4th place after the red flag race was finally resumed. This is an impressive achievement from 17th place on the grid. For a man born in Potchefstroom, North West South Africa, he closed the end of the roller coaster week.
Just seven days ago, Binder won the first premier class race in South Africa at the Czech Republic GP in Brno, riding only in his third MotoGP.
This victory was also KTM’s first MotoGP victory and Binder was the first rookie to win the race since Marc Marquez’s first victory at the 2013 GP of the Americas.
“It was absolutely great,” he says. “I don’t think I expected it so quickly, especially just for my third Grand Prix. To be honest, it’s a dream come true and I’m working hard to get the whole career as a motorcycle racer right.”
Rugby and cricket
Binder and his family moved to the Krugersdorp, just outside Johannesburg, when he was ten. He admits that motorsport is not typically associated with South Africa.
“Sure, when we think of sports and South Africa, we think of rugby and cricket,” he said.
“When I was young and started racing in South Africa, it was busier, there were lots of races, lots of support, things were a little calm, but I’m slowly coming back.”
Rookie success has been well received at home.
“It’s really cool because the news really exploded at home,” he says. “South Africans are always great to support everyone in the sport, especially their sport, so it’s great to see all the support I’ve received.”
Covid-19 presented an additional challenge to Binder and his younger brother Darin competing in the Moto3 class.
“It’s really difficult now that the South African border is closed,” Binder explains.
“It’s almost impossible to go home. I wish I had two weeks off after this weekend’s race and had a week to catch up with my friends and family, but unfortunately the situation. Will stay here for now. “
He admits that he is a little homesick.
“South Africa is generally a great place. Sure, the main thing about South Africa is that I don’t really know how to explain it. It’s just my hometown. It’s where I go and I know everything exactly. It works.
“It’s great to go back to where I grew up and see your friends and stuff, everything I’ve done in my lifetime. That’s all. I hope everything returns to normal soon.”
But life on the road is nothing new to the Binder brothers.
“We’ve spent most of our time in Europe since 2014 and have done this together,” he says.
The old binder has been racing in Europe since 2011, winning the Moto3 title in 2016 and finishing second behind Alex Marquez in last season’s Moto2 Championship.
He is often honing his skills in Spain when he is not competing.
“The good thing about Spain is that it has a lot of different tracks and it’s really good for training,” he added.
“The weather is nice. Spain is a place to go home whenever you can’t.”
Despite nine years of racing experience, Binder admits that it was difficult to step up to MotoGP.
“MotoGP bikes are a completely different beast than Moto2 bikes. They have more than double the horsepower and the bikes are actually even lighter, so it’s very difficult to move your head at first. Every time I ride a bike, I get more and more. I feel comfortable. “
This year’s KTM is a formidable package and seems to be a serious challenger for other factory teams. The appearance of Marc Marquez’s former Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa as a test rider is widely acknowledged for turning the team into a competitor.
“I actually rode a 2019 bike at the end of last year,” says Binder. “When I rode a 2020 bike in Malaysia, it was a big step forward and I could feel it was much better and much easier to ride. KTM is fully functional and ticks are also believed. It’s working like no other. “
Ominously, for the rest of the field, the binder sees its upward trajectory.
“It’s great to see these big advances, and I think they’ll generally come more,” he added.
For now, the exiled binder is focused on building on his early success in this most bizarre MotoGP season.
Returning is definitely welcome, but he admits that he has a little South African taste.
“I’m trying to keep Biltong a little, but it’s not always easy to find!”