Brad takes astonishing victory in crazy conditions at the Austrian GP
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing sampled the sweet taste of success at their home Grand Prix as Brad Binder defied a crazy dry/wet Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich to win for the second time in his career in the premier class. The South African ensured that KTM trod the top step of the podium for the second time in 2021 and for the second year in a row at the Red Bull Ring.
The second taste of the Red Bull Ring for MotoGP took place in front of the biggest fan attendance since the start of the pandemic as the sport welcomed back a full allocation of spectators for the eleventh round of the 2021 campaign. Sunshine and decent temperatures were also part of the ingredients for an eagerly anticipated Austrian Grand Prix but the race itself took a late dramatic turn with a heavy shower that coated the track for the last four laps of the 28.
2020 winner at the Spielberg venue, Miguel Oliveira, was the highest KTM RC16 runner on the start grid and occupied the final slot on the third row, just one space ahead of teammate Brad, but it was the South African who made the brighter start as Tech3 KTM Factory Racing pair Iker Lecuona and Danilo Petrucci tried to thread their way through the pack from the second half of the group.
Brad had moved up to 6th when the rain started to appear and the leaders grouped together as the conditions became more perilous. The five riders ahead of him elected to pull into the pits to change to wet weather settings but Brad gambled and gingerly guided his KTM RC16 to 1st place as the water plummeted. The 26-year-old almost fell, and actually ran off the track on the final lap with the rain at its heaviest. He had enough of a margin to make it home and spark wild celebrations in the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing pitbox.
“That was really scary! When I saw the rain coming I was trying to work out how many seconds I could lose per lap and when the others went in I decided to take the gamble. I could push hard on the first lap but then the rear tire started to slide as the temperature cooled. Then I lost the carbon brakes! Wow, I think there was someone up there holding me up today because there were a couple of moments when I thought it was over. Here in front of the fans and the home race for KTM and Red Bull I felt like I had to take the gamble. To win today is insane.”