KTM’s star MotoGP rider Brad Binder has agreed to another early contract extension, securing his place at the team until the end of the 2026 season.
The 28-year-old South African, who has two wins in grand prix racing, is currently the best of the non-Ducati riders in the 2023 championship in fourth place.
Though any sort of title challenge is a massive long shot given the imperious form of Ducati and Pecco Bagnaia in particular, Binder has clearly been one of the season’s standouts – and tying him down longer-term is a massive coup for KTM, which the manufacturer announced during its home race weekend at the Red Bull Ring.
“A massive thank you to KTM and the management for trusting in me and for letting me be involved in this incredible programme for a few more years,” Binder said.
“We are coming very close to what we want to achieve on the track but I cannot say enough good things about the team and my crew.”
Team manager Francesco Guidotti described Binder as “a rock of our team”, while the company’s motorsport boss Pit Beirer said retaining him was “a big priority”.
“I want to thank him for his belief in us and for how we’ve pushed together to this point so far. There is still so much potential to come,” Guidotti added.
Binder’s new deal comes almost two years on from KTM making an early commitment to him through 2024, amid what was then his sophomore season.
But despite his status as a long-term KTM prodigy, Binder’s increasingly reliable performances looked like they could potentially lead to him pondering a future elsewhere considering the KTM RC16 appeared to have stagnated somewhat since taking a huge leap back in 2020.
However, this year has represented arguably the bike’s biggest step forward since that year, and Binder has become a much more reliable presence at the sharp end, while also notching up a highlight-reel sprint race win from 15th on the grid in Argentina.
The announcement of Binder’s new deal comes at a time while much uncertainty continues to surround the wider KTM family’s MotoGP roster for as early as 2024.
While Jack Miller is under contract to stay as Binder’s team-mate in the KTM team, over at the Gas Gas-branded Tech3 squad there are three potential candidates for two rides in Pol Espargaro, Pedro Acosta and Augusto Fernandez, all seemingly contractually committed to KTM’s parent company the Pierer Mobility Group in one way or another.
KTM’s pursuit of an extra team on the MotoGP grid – which would likely be its long-term partner Ajo – continues, as it tries to overcome the reluctance of series promoter Dorna to grant the grid slots.