It is common news that for 2021 the KTM Factory Racing Team will field Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira for 2021 with Oliveira replacing Pol Espargaro who moves to Repsol Honda.
It is welcome news to MotoGP fans who have followed the careers of the pair, they have been teammates multiple times before, firstly in 2015 when the pair rode for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team before Oliveira moved to Moto2 in 2016. In 2017 Brad Binder made the move to Moto2 with the newly formed Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team, he would partner Oliveira here in 2017 and 2018 before Oliveira stepped up to MotoGP with Tech3 KTM.
Binder and Oliveira in Parc Ferme at Jerez 2015 following a double podium
The riders have history together and have proven to be able to work well together when paired up, Oliveira in the lower categories always had better results when racing against Binder, however in the MotoGP class Binder has won his first race before Oliveira, doing so in only his third race.
Partnering Binder and Oliveira was a smart move by KTM, originally the pair were meant to ride together in the Tech3 KTM team in 2020, however when Zarco left KTM, Binder was promoted to the factory team and not Oliveira, it’s safe to say the Portuguese man was not impressed by this saying “I want to look at the KTM relationship in the long term, having chosen a rookie and a guy [Binder] who is the same age as me makes me feel a bit like I’m not worthy enough to be there.” A stab at KTM more so than Binder.
Oliveira has in the past praised having Binder as a teammate saying, “Having a close teammate and sometimes up front is positive. It creates a tension inside the box that leads us to overcome ourselves and I think that’s a good thing.” This can only be positive for KTM having two riders who can push each other to the limits with Binder currently riding the KTM like a Moto2 bike and winning races doing so.
The pair on the podium in 2017
Recently the pair have had some tension between them, in the Andalusian Grand Prix, Binder and Oliveira were involved in a collision with the riders both having different versions of the story, however, Binder apologised to Oliveira who accepted with Binder saying Oliveira is his ‘good mate.’
Following the Styrian GP, both Binder and Oliveira have a race win under their belts with Oliveira taking the win at the very last corner. This partnership was the best choice KTM could have made in regards to getting even more wins for the pair.
2021 has a lot of surprises in store for us with this pair, here’s hoping to seeing them on the podium together a lot more frequently!
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