Brad Binder became South Africa’s first motorcycle racing world champion since 1980 by clinching the Moto3 title at Motorland Aragon on Sunday.
Binder, 21, made his debut on the MotoGP ladder back in 2011 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the 125cc class, which became known as Moto3 the following year.
Binder scored his first podium in 2014 with Mahindra, but did not ascend to the top step until this year’s Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
The result sparked a run of three straight victories that was bookended by four podiums, vaulting the KTM rider into the championship lead.
Further wins followed at Silverstone and Misano, leaving Binder on the brink of sealing the championship at Motorland Aragon on Sunday.
After qualifying seventh, Binder became embroiled in the battle for victory at the front of the pack, taking the lead on the final lap.
Despite running wide at the final corner and losing out to Jorge Navarro by 0.030 seconds in a sprint to the line, second place was enough to clinch Binder the championship.
Binder becomes South Africa’s first world champion in motorcycle racing since Jon Ekerold in 1980.
Binder will make the move up to Moto2 in 2017 with KTM, and will undoubtedly have his sights on moving up to the premier class of motorcycle racing, MotoGP, not long after that.