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Moto2™ 2013: The search for Márquez’s successor

Pol Espargaró is a clear favourite for this year’s Moto2™ title, not least as the 2012 runner-up no longer has Marc Márquez to deal with. Despite that, history has proven that uncertainty is never far away in the middle class…

Following the tradition of recent years, the challenge kicks off under lights with the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar. It is there, at Losail in the middle of the desert, that Espargaró hopes to ride his Tuenti HP 40 machine to the top of a podium for the first time this year. The bike-rider combination is perhaps the closest anybody will get to perfection this year, so many see this as a case of ‘when rather than if’.

Espargaró may have been one step ahead across the pre-season, but the list of contenders is long. Among them are world champions and compatriots: Julián Simón (Italtrans Racing Team), Toni Elías (Blusens Avintia and the first Moto2 title winner in 2010) and Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team); all three, and more, are equipped with highly competitive technology.

One who certainly deserved a mention in that list was Switzerland’s Tom Lüthi, but the Interwetten Paddock rider will miss at least the first two rounds of the season following a freak collision in the Valencia test. In the meantime, he is replaced by Spain’s Sergio Gadea who makes a return to the championship.

A total of 51 podium positions are on offer over the course of the Moto2™ season and they seem certain to be shared out to an assortment of different names. Other favoured runners include NGM Mobile Racing teammates Simone Corsi and Mattia Pasini, whose team has been strengthened only further by the addition of Alex de Angelis and Ricky Cardús who run with NGM Mobile Forward Racing branding. Keep an eye also on Takaaki Nakagami, the Japanese hotshot alongside Simón at Italtrans Racing Team, plus Esteve Rabat who should be in prime position to reap the rewards of being an Espargaró partner at Tuenti HP 40.

To ensure even more parity in the field, new in the class for this year is a minimum weight limit of 215kg – taking into account the bike and rider with full leathers.

No less than 17 Grand Prix winners will be competing on this year’s Moto2™ grid, five of whom are former champions in the 125 class.

Tags:
Moto2, 2013

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