Sat, 26 Sep 2020

South African Brad Binder will try to serve up another dose of last weekend's wizardry at his KTM team's home Austrian MotoGP on Sunday.

Binder smashed a series of firsts when winning the Czech MotoGP for his maiden success at only the third attempt in his rookie season in the elite division.

He was also the first South African to win at this level and KTM's breakthrough MotoGP success too - the perfect way to celebrate his 25th birthday on Tuesday.

"It would be fantastic to have another good weekend for this home race," said Binder on Thursday.

KTM's motorsport director Pit Bierer spoke feelingly about their "long fight" from the time they first decided to aim for MotoGP, starting with "a white sheet of paper", to Sunday's "outstanding" win, and all the hard punches in between.

Binder's unscripted victory put the brakes on Fabio Quartararo, the rising French rider who leads the championship after back-to-back wins in the first two races at Jerez on his Yamaha.

World champion Marc Marquez is absent in Spielberg for the third consecutive race as the Spaniard recovers from two bouts of surgery on a broken arm sustained in his season-opening race crash.

The Honda star's misfortune has left him trailing Quartararo by already 59 points ahead of Sunday's fourth leg of the coronavirus-curtailed season.

Marquez is aiming to return for the following weekend's Styrian Grand Prix, also at the Austrian circuit.

Yamaha's satellite SRT team star Quartararo had to settle for seventh behind Binder in Brno, but approaches Austria in high spirits.

"It wasn't the best weekend at Brno, but we will go to Austria with nine more points in the championship," he said.

"That was important to do. The Austrian track is one that I really like and I'm really looking forward to these next two races there."

Quartararo leads the early standings by 17 points from Spaniard Maverick Vinales, only 14th last Sunday on the factory Yamaha, with his SRT teammate Franco Morbidelli up to third (31 points) after finishing best of the rest behind Binder who is in fifth.

Spielberg, however, has been a happy hunting ground for Ducati who have won all four races at the circuit since the grand prix returned in 2016.

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