Winning races is nice, but I want to be world champion, says Brad Binder

South Africa's Brad Binder, the MotoGP Rookie of the Year, has his sights set on becoming world champion. Picture: Getty Images

“I’ve learned this year that it’s not always the fastest guy on the day who wins… it’s not that simple.”

It’s not going to happen overnight, but his performances in his debut top-flight season have given Brad Binder enough reason to believe he has what it takes to win the MotoGP world title.

After delivering a stunning victory at the third leg of this year’s MotoGP season, Binder went on to be crowned Rookie of the Year, ending 11th overall in the final championship standings.

Now that he’s proved himself at the highest level, the 25-year-old Red Bull KTM rider believes he is on track to achieve his ultimate goal.

“It’s fantastic to have won a Grand Prix, especially that early in my rookie year, but I want to be world champion. That’s my main goal,” Binder said this week, looking back on his 2020 campaign.

“We’ve still got a long way to go, and a lot of learning to do, but I’m really glad to see I have the potential to hopefully accomplish what I set out to do.”

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The former Moto3 world champion admits, however, it is a significant challenge shaving off the milliseconds required to close the gap on the world’s best.

“I want to be in the top five, or the top three, as consistently as possible,” said Binder.

“That’s where I’ve got to be to achieve my goal of being world champion.”

Though he earned a historic first win at Brno this year, Binder was forced to do some grinding in his rookie season.

Taking on the global elite, he finished in the top five at only three races, and he was outside the top 10 at nine of the 14 races on the shortened 2020 circuit.

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Looking ahead, he feels consistency will be the key to his potential success.

“I’ve learned in MotoGP this year that it’s not always the fastest guy on the day who wins… it’s not that simple. There are so many things that go into it, and you’ve got to be really clever,” he said.

“Some of the guys on the grid have been doing this for more than 10 years and they’re the best riders in the world, so when you’ve got to make moves to come through the field, you realise very quickly that it’s not easy and these guys are quite special.

“So I have a lot of work to do but I’m sure I can make the cut.”

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