New to motogp.com?Register here
It’s been quite a ‘silly season’ this time around, with some seats on the 2019 MotoGP™ grid decided early and still more waiting for confirmation. There have been bombshells – like Jorge Lorenzo’s move to Repsol Honda – and tearful goodbyes as Dani Pedrosa announced his retirement, but there are also some fresh faces moving up for next year. You might know the names…now let's find out a little more - and catch up on their exploits here!
The only 2019 MotoGP™ rookie who will be at a factory team is reigning Moto3™ World Champion Joan Mir. With rumours having swirled around the Suzuki seat alongside Alex Rins for some time, we eventually then got confirmation that it would be the young Mallorcan moving up to complete the Hamamatsu factory’s line up at Team Suzuki Ecstar – and he has quite a CV.
Mir: "Suzuki offered me a good project and a good challenge"
Not so way back when, Mir was an FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship title hopeful in 2015, as are many of the talents who then emerge to shine in the lightweight class of Grand Prix racing. The Majorcan won four of the first six races in the series that year but his lack of consistency – the other two results having been DNFs – saw him finish fourth overall come the end of the season. He also raced in the Red Bull Rookies MotoGP Cup and was runner up in the series in 2014.
Mir: "I learned from the races I couldn’t win”
Mir’s 2017 is his biggest success to date as the then-sophomore destroyed the field to comfortably take the Moto3™ crown. That’s after he took an impressive win in the class as a rookie in 2016 – from his first pole – when he took victory at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Now having taken three podiums in the intermediate class as a rookie this season, Mir keeps on impressing on his incredible trajectory.
The Moto2™ Championship leader was the first of the new arrivals to be announced, and ‘Pecco’ will be lining up at Alma Pramac Racing next year alongside Jack Miller. Having shown incredible pace throughout only his second year in Moto2™ so far, and taken podiums as a rookie, Italian hopes are high for Bagnaia.
A day in the life of… 'Pecco' Bagnaia and MotoGP™
So where did he come from? Bagnaia’s career started gaining momentum as a winner in the FIM CEV Repsol before he moved up to Moto3™ in 2013. Some good results did enough to impress but it was when ‘Pecco’ took two wins on a Mahindra in 2016 that he really began to gain some serious notice – and even got a lap on a MotoGP™ machine at the Valencia test as a reward from the Angel Nieto Team. Moving up to Moto2™ the following season, the Italian adjusted quickly and took his first podium early at the Spanish GP in Jerez – the first of four.
A day in the life of a VR46 Academy Rider: Pecco Bagnaia
Since the lights went out on his sophomore season, the Italian has taken four wins from nine races and leads the Championship – despite some struggles with health and some heroic avoiding action last time out in Germany that dropped him down the order.
The only qualified dentist on the Moto2™ grid, Oliveira will be moving up within KTM’s very own road to MotoGP™ next season and joining the newly-aligned Tech 3 outfit alongside Hafizh Syahrin. Beginning with race wins in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup in 2008, great things have been expected of the Portuguese rider from the off.
2009 saw him come third in his first season in the FIM CEV Repsol 125 Championship, finishing just behind…Maverick Viñales, before the same happened in 2010 except the two were first and second. Just two points separated them at the top before they both moved into the Grand Prix paddock the following year.
Oliveira: "I’m convinced that I can do well in MotoGP"
Viñales won the Moto3™ World Championship in 2013 but it wasn’t until 2015 that Oliveira launched his big title challenge, just missing out to Danny Kent after a stunning second half of the season. From there he moved up to Moto2™ for 2016 and had a more difficult rookie year including some injury struggles, before 2017 saw him take his first intermediate class wins in serious style: three in a row at the end of the year, giving KTM their first wins with their new Moto2™ chassis.
Moto2™: Oliveira takes first KTM win at Phillip Island
In 2018 he’s been a constant presence at the front and won in Mugello, and is just a handful of points off the top of the Championship currently occupied by Francesco Bagnaia.
MotoGP™ VideoPass: Half season, half price!
3 years ago
3 years ago