RED BULL ROOKIE BRAD BINDER DOMINATES ROUND THREE ON ESTORIL CIRCUIT
South African teenager Brad Binder took control of the traditional Estoril Racing circuit on Saturday afternoon to completely dominate Round 3 of the Red Bull Rookies Cup, the competition for young road racing talent where all riders compete on identical KTM 125 RR bikes.
Binder, who won the pole position on Friday in difficult wet conditions, charged off to a great start in Saturday’s race and crossed the line a full 15 seconds ahead of second placed Australian Arthur Sissis. Third was Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri.
The 15-year-old South African is racing in his third Red Bull Rookies season but unlike many of the other riders is not able to compete in a high level national competition so his track practice is confined to this competition. He set a blistering pace right from the opening lap and while Sissis and Baldassarri could keep him in their sights, neither was able to make inroads on his lead as he continuously stretched the advantage by at least a half a second per lap as the race progressed.
“I just put my head down and went as hard as I could from the start,” said Binder. “When I saw the gap was 4 seconds I realized that it was going okay but I wanted to keep pushing and I only eased up right at the end. In fact I almost crashed at the chicane on the last lap when the front tucked but I got away with it.”
Sissis rode a very solid race for second and now moves ahead in the standings, 10 points in front of Binder and Philipp Oettl of Germany who cannot race this weekend because he broke his collarbone during training. “My bike was sliding around quite a lot so the set up can be improved for sure. We'll have a look at things and see what we can change for tomorrow. I hope we can find something and that I can race with Brad,” Sissis said.
Baldassarri said he wasn’t ale to keep up the pace of the two leaders but hoped to be up with them in Round Four tomorrow. Very stormy weather and a sodden track on Friday left the rookies with little track time to arrive at good race settings. On Saturday the track was mostly dry but stormy weather is expected through the weekend.
Round Three Results
1, Brad Binder, South Africa 29 minutes 52.963 seconds 2. Arthur Sissis (AUS) +15.929 3. Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) +24.667 4. Alan Techer (FRA) +38.011 5. Joakim Niemi (FIN) +38.049 6. Ivo Lopes (POR) +38.141 7. Xavier Pinsach (ESP) +38.211 8. Aaron España (ESP) +38.269 9. Andrea Migno (ITA) +47.632 10. Lukas Trautmann (AUT) +47.69.