Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) may have a 17-point lead in the MotoGP™ World Championship standings after three races in 2020, but the scenes we witnessed at the Monster Energy Czech Republic Grand Prix proves this World Championship is wide open – and it's absolutely brilliant.
We can’t sing the praises of Brad Binder and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing highly enough. They’ll stand proud at the top of the MotoGP™ world heading to their home Grand Prix in Austria next weekend, buoyed by a remarkable first win in the premier class. Binder’s race was nothing short of outstanding and in just his third MotoGP™ race, he’s a winner – the first rookie to claim 25 points in the class since Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).
But the result in the Czech GP doesn’t just prove how competitive KTM are in 2020. It proves just how close this World Championship is. Seeing Binder and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) climb on their first MotoGP™ podiums is just reward for their talent and hard work, and the same can be said for third place finisher Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing). A KTM, satellite Yamaha and a year-old Ducati on the podium? Unthinkable not so long ago. However, in 2020, that’s how we sit.
Rookies taking it to the experienced guard, factories in KTM and Aprilia beating the likes of Yamaha, Ducati and Honda, and sessions that see less than a second covering the top 17 or so riders. The list goes on, five of the six manufacturers on the grid are now race winners in the dry and Aprilia are only going to get stronger as they go in hunt for that illustrious reward.
There’s simply no margin for error in 2020. A bad race or weekend – as we’ve seen with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) – can see two title favourites finish P11 and P14. And if we look at the Championship, it’s a 50/50 split in terms of Independent Team riders to factory riders – and one of those factory riders is a rookie.
Long story short, we have a stunning MotoGP™ World Championship on our hands. Predict the outcome at your own peril. Bring on the Red Bull Ring!