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Brad Binder: Not racing has been tough

MotoGP has had to cancel or postpone six races due to the coronavirus pandemic with the French Grand Prix the latest race to be postponed on Thursday last week.

FILE: Grand Prix motorcycle racer Brad Binder. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - South African MotoGP rider Brad Binder has said the main focus at the moment is to try to stay fit and healthy while on lockdown so that he can be ready to go when the MotoGP season starts.

MotoGP has had to cancel or postpone six races due to the coronavirus pandemic with the French Grand Prix the latest race to be postponed on Thursday last week.

The 24-year-old was set to compete in MotoGP for the first time after finishing his final season in Moto2 in second place.

Speaking on 702's SportsTalk, he said there was a lot of uncertainty around when the season would start.

“Nobody really knows what's going on at the moment. I'd like to say we're going to be starting riding really soon, but speaking to a lot of the people, that sounds like if we are lucky, maybe June/July we can start to get our season underway. The main thing we need to focus on right now is just to get the virus out of the way and make sure everyone's healthy and safe again and then we can continue to race after that,” he said.

Binder said it was hard to adjust to not being on the track, especially when the target since the end of last season was to be ready for the opening race in Qatar.

“It's quite difficult because you have that target in mind and that's what you work towards, and all of a sudden when that kind of falls away it’s a bit of a letdown because I was really excited and that's what I’ve been working towards. You know at the same time now it's given me more time to prepare and hopefully I can get some good results and make everyone back home in South Africa proud,” he said.

Binder said that training at home or in the gym did not give the same experience as actually being on the bike.

“Riding is a different type of fitness because you are using your whole body all the time and it's just really physical. You use your forearms a lot, which works really hard along with small muscles in your back and shoulders, so it's just a mix of different muscles that you can't really train exactly the same in a gym,” he said.

Should the season get underway at some point, Binder will ride alongside Pol Espargaró for KTM.

Binder said he was looking forward to being on the same team.

“So far, so good. You know I've enjoyed being Pol’s teammate and looking forward to getting the season underway. He's a really strong rider and he's really been doing well, especially at the end of last season, so I hope to be as close to him as possible and if I can, hopefully finish quite a few races in front of him,” he said.