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The MotoGP rookie who promises a golden future for KTM
KTM's world was rocked when MotoGP team leader Pol Espargaro was signed by the works Honda team for 2021. A driving force behind KTM's development, Espargaro's departure opens the door for a rather special rookie to take up that mantle.
A bit of history was made last Sunday when lights went out at Jerez at the start of the MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix. For the first time since Shane Norval in 2000, a South African rider took part in a premier class race. And this particular South African is a bit special.
Brad Binder has been one of KTM's golden geese since he joined the Austrian manufacturer's ranks in Moto3 in 2015. That came after a stint on the unfancied Mahindra where he shone, getting the bike to the podium twice in 2014.
Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve
Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars
That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class
Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength
Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked
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