Chilled-out Binder likely to finish as Moto3 champ
When Brad Binder lines up for Sunday's Moto3 race at the Aragon track in Spain he will have his first chance to clinch the world crown.
The 21-year-old KTM rider from Krugersdorp needs just 20 points - a single second place would do it - from the remaining five races of the season to put the title out of reach of his nearest challenger Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3).
Binder's domination of the 2016 class has been total. Of the 13 completed races, he has been on the podium 10 times, with five of those on the top step.
Not bad for a rider who had not won a race until this year. And he opened his account in style - coming from the back to win in Jerez.
That breakthrough gave him the confidence to believe in himself, aided by the decision to "chill out" a bit more this season.
"In the past I maybe took things too seriously, focusing too much on racing and fitness and I was always very hard on myself when I failed.
"This is my fifth year in Moto3 and I'm definitely taking things a little easier," he said.
Binder announced last month that whatever the outcome this season, he would leave Moto3, having spent five years in the class, to progress to Moto2. He has signed with the Ajo Motorsports squad to partner Miguel Oliveira.
Whatever 2017 holds in store, though, it's very likely Binder will face it as the reigning Moto3 champion - the first South African to hold a Grand Prix title since Kork Ballington in 1979. And he'll celebrate as any boykie should. With a braai.