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Tight Moto2™ World Championship heads to desert showdown

Tight Moto2™ World Championship heads to desert showdown

After two successful official tests, the Moto2™ World Championship venture to Qatar looking to dethrone Johann Zarco.

A dominant 2015 season saw Ajo Motorsport’s Johann Zarco claim the Moto2™ title at the Japanese Grand Prix, he now aims to become the first Moto2™ rider to reclaim his crown. It will not be an easy title defence however, a number of veterans have remained in the class and are ready for their moment in the spotlight. Furthermore, no reigning Moto2™ World Champion has ever won the opening race of the year.

Having completed hundreds of laps over the off-season and leading the way at the Qatar Test, Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) heads into 2016 looking stronger than ever. Now mounted on a Kalex, the former World SuperSport champion looks every bit a title contender working alongside the Gresini squad, who won the first Moto2™ World Championship with Toni Elias. Lowes started from pole at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar in 2015 and was in contention for the race win till he crashed while battling with Zarco.

Zarco also experienced misfortune during the 2015 race, a mechanical issue demoting him to eighth. The 2015 champion has had two quiet tests, going about his business without making a major impact. Despite not setting the time sheets alight, it is almost certain that the experienced combination of Zarco and the Ajo team will lead to strong results in 2016.

The stand out rookie of 2015 was without doubt Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40), the Spaniard continuing to show well in both official pre-season tests. With a year’s experience under his belt few doubt his ability to challenge for the title, even with limited private testing compared to his rivals.

2015 Qatar GP race winner, Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP) ended the Qatar Test in third. The 2016 season sees the German join the Dynavolt Intact GP team as he searches for more consistency over a season. Both he and Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) have classically gone well in Qatar, Luthi having finished on the Moto2™ podium there in 2011, 2014 and 2015.

Moto3™ World Champion Danny Kent (Leopard Racing) and Moto3™ runner-up Miguel Oliveira (Leopard Racing) join forces as Leopard Racing step up into the intermediate class. This marks a return to Moto2™ for Kent who had a difficult 2013 season aboard the Tech 3 bike. Both riders will be on the newest Kalex machinery for 2016.

Of the 30 riders on the Moto2™ grid in 2016, 24 are on Kalex bikes with three Speed Ups, two Tech 3s and a lone Suter.


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