12 months ago
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Last year, Moto2™ opened a new era with the introduction of the Triumph 765cc engine and with it a fresh wave of competitive, close-fought action. 2020 looks like being no different with a plethora of World Champions, Grand Prix race winners and, consequentially, title contenders lining up on the grid.
2020 will see three World Champions in the field, including a reigning World Champion in the form of last year’s Moto3™ title winner, Italtrans Racing’s Lorenzo Dalla Porta. Joining the Italian is Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who claimed the lightweight title the year before, and 2005 125cc World Champion Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP), who will also be this year’s oldest rider on the Moto2™ grid at 33 years 184 days old on race day.
This is Qatar! The show must go on!
But that’s not all. Lorezno Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing) has also won the 2016 FIM CEV Junior Moto3™ World Championship, Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Nicolo Bulega and Edgar Pons have an impressive three FIM CEV European Moto2™ titles between them, whilst Jesko Raffin has claimed the same crown. Then, three riders have a Rookies Cup title to their name: Jorge Martin, Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP40) and Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP). Plus, EG 0,0 Marc VDS’ Sam Lowes is a former World Supersport Champion from back in 2013.
When it comes to race victories, the Moto2™ grid has 14 riders sharing 67 wins, which is one more than we had in 2019. With last year's World Champion Alex Marquez and runner-up Brad Binder moving up to the premier class it leaves four more Moto2™ Grand Prix race winners from last year on the grid: Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46), Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), Lüthi and Baldassarri.
Lüthi is the most successful with 17 and is quite a long way clear of his closest rival, Jorge Martin, with eight. Looking at the Losail International Circuit, in particular, Lüthi took victory in the 2016 Moto2™ Grand Prix, Martin in the 2018 Moto3™ Grand Prix and Baldassarri is looking to become the first intermediate class back-to-back race winner in the desert since Jorge Lorenzo in 2006 and 2007 after taking 2019's opening round by just 0.026 of a second.
All is not lost... Get set for a Moto2™ & Moto3™ spectacular
Of the rookies, both Dalla Porta and Aron Canet (Aspar Team) were on the podium at last year’s Moto3™ season opener and Dalla Porta could become the first lightweight class World Champion to win on his debut in the intermediate class since Dani Pedrosa in 2004.
The first decade of the Moto2™ World Championship has offered so many memorable moments and as we embark on the second chapter and decade in its history, there’s surely going to be many stand-out moments, starting this weekend at the QNB Qatar Grand Prix.
12 months ago