I would like to post here the riders’ reviews of all MotoGP categories until the end of this year. Let’s start with the lowest one, Moto3.
Moto3 is the category which I like a lot. Every year there is something to look at. New faces, new talents and also some already experienced ones. The experienced ones are usually the title favourites but also the newcomers can surprise us. There are always great battles on track and it is worth to watch it. Also these boys (and sometimes girls) don’t feel like stars yet so they are usually very nice, humble and thankful for being there.
So let’s take a look at the 2016 season from every rider’s perspective.
Well, what to say about him. His season was just amazing. I admire him and as his fan I am very proud of him. He did an amazing job during the season. What a shame that his only one DNF of the season was just in my home GP in Brno. I was cheering for him there at the grandstands and when he crashed from the lead I was so sad and disappointed, that’s what I have to admit. But I also have to say that there were so difficult conditions in Brno. His first ever victory was just stylish :-D To win from the last place at the grid, it is pure masterpiece. But since the beginning of the year I was saying that Brad would win in Jerez. And wow, my intuition was right about it. The whole season was great from his point of view and he did great step forward.
At the beginning of the season Enea didn’t look like Brad’s biggest rival but in the end it’s him who finished second in the drivers’ championship. But in fact, Brad didn’t have any real rivals there. Enea did some good races but his first and only one season victory came in the end of the season in Japan. Unfortunately there were also some injuries. He couldn’t take part in the French round and then he injured himself later during the season again and didn’t start in Malaysia. The injury looked pretty bad and I was worried about him but then he started in Valencia and finished fourth! With Brad coming to Moto2 for next season Enea could be the biggest favourite for Moto3 title.
It looked like Jorge could be the biggest rival for Brad. But he had lots of bad luck and injuries. I think Jorge is the unluckiest rider of the year. At least he won two races, both at his home in Spain and he scored some other podium finishes. But he didn’t finish seven races and he didn’t start to another one so it’s eight races without any points and that’s what decides in the championship.
I myself have to say that during the season I started to follow Pecco (how he is called by others) more carefully and it is worth to watch him and follow his path. In my opinion he is big talent. So we will see what he shows to us in the future. Maybe it is a shame he is going to Moto2 for next year but maybe it will be good. We don’t know it yet. But back to his 2016 season. He had there some ups and downs. He finished on the podium and in the next race he was maybe even P20. So some inconsistent results. He did win in Assen where the history was made. It was the first ever victory for Mahindra. Then he took another victory in Malaysia and during the season he added some more podium finishes. As the icing on the cake his team boss Aspar Martínez gave him a special gift. Pecco could do a few laps with team’s MotoGP bike. I guess that was great experience for him.
Before the season I said that I would follow this boy’s career and that I was looking forward to him in Moto3. I remember him from Red Bull Rookies Cup and I was his fan there, I saw lots of potential in him. And you see, Joan was the best rookie of the year. He did amazing job, his season was great. We really can be very curious about his future there. I expect big things! He even took a victory in his first ever season there. It was in Austria. He scored two more podium finishes, P3 in Misano and P2 in Valencia. I think this second place from his home GP is very valuable for him.
Fabio Di Giannantonio
Another rookie of the season who did an amazing job. Honestly I have to say that I didn’t expect such a success from him. I have to praise him for his job. Well, the beginning of the season was bad because he was far away from points. He scored his first points in his home race in Italy and it was even podium finish! Since that race weekend it was like he was changed and he started to score great results and showed great talent.
Nicolo Bulega surprised me a bit. I honestly should admit that I didn’t expect him to be on 7th place in the final World Championship standings. He scored some podium finishes in the season so it wasn’t a bad year for him. Sure, it could have been better, there were some DNFs but sum it up I think he showed his potential and we will hear about him more in the future.
Jakub finished 8th in the overall standings and I have to say I am quite proud of my countryman. To be in Top 10 in the final standings is really great thing. For sure, the season highlight is P2 from Malaysia. But he did some other good results as P4 in Germany, P5 in San Marino and Spain. He also did very well in this home GP in Brno where he finished 6th. It was the crazy rainy race and Jakub showed us once again that he is quite good in these kinds of conditions. He did really good season and now he can be proud of how it all went.
And again in the post I have to admit someone surprised me. I honestly didn’t expect Andrea to do that well. Well, he didn’t start that well as he was 21st in Qatar but then he did surprising results (at least for me it was surprising) in Argentina and USA. Later during the season he did manage P2 in Germany and then in Australia. Not bad for him. The more surprising for me was the announcement that he’s moving to Moto2 for next year.
Although Romano didn’t race in the second half of the season it was still enough for him to be 10th in the final standings at the end of the season. He didn’t start bad at all. Actually he was quite a rival for Binder. But then, in the middle of the season, some problems in his team appeared. Romano didn’t know what good behaviour meant. So his team ended the contract with him. Let’s hope Romano learned from this life lecture and he will be more humble.
To me personally Niccoló was a disappointment. Yes, he did win in Qatar, in the first race of the year, but it’s his only one podium finish of the season. Then he did P4 in Italy, P5 in the Netherlands and Czech republic but his other results weren’t as good as I expected. For me he was dark horse of the championship. I still believe he is hidden talent. But since Brno GP he even didn’t finish in Top 10, just Japanese Grand Prix is the exception there, he was 10th.
Philipp did some really good races and he showed he could race. A few times he was there at the front group but he was a bit unlucky and never made it to the podium. His best result was P4. But there were also some races where he even didn’t take any point.
For many people Fabio was new Marc Márquez. But since he came to Moto3 I’ve never realized why people called him liked this. Maybe he has talent and just wasn’t at the right moment in the right place. I don’t know. But for me personally Fabio is just average rider, I can’t see anything special about him. His 2016 season was average as well, he was only 13th in the final standings. He did some Top 10 results but he had also some races without any point. He even didn’t make it to the rostrum which means he was the worst from the Leopard team squad (and before the season he was considered as the best one from them).
Now this part will be probably a little bit biased. I have to admit that I had some high expectations about Bo and these expectations were probably too high and not real. But it all was caused by the fact that I’ve always seen a talent in him, he did so well in Red Bull Rookies Cup. And another one reason was that he went to the best team in the field, Red Bull KTM Ajo. Bo had slower start to the season but he did better and better. He improved race by race. Second part of the season was good for him. He regularly fought for Top 10. He managed it to the podium twice, in United Kingdom and in Malaysia. The race in UK was my personal highlight of the season as Brad and Bo were together on the podium. It was amazing result for my favourite team Ajo and I have to say that it made me cry.
When I saw Aron was 15th in Championship standings I was quite surprised. I thought he did better. The true is that he did good races, he was there in the front group but was unlucky sometimes and crashed or just made a mistake and lost his promising position. In Australia he achieved his first career podium. There was a chance to add another one in his home race in Valencia. He was on pole position but was unlucky again because his motorbike stalled at the starting grid and he had to start from pit lane! Hopefully he will be more lucky next season.
For me Jorge is promising talent of the future. But in the season he was so unlucky. There were even an injury so he couldn’t take part in some races. And there were also some DNFs. He finished only 9 races, 8 of them on points. And that’s a problem. But he managed to be on the podium once, it was in the crazy wet race in Brno where he finished 2nd.
Andrea didn’t have great season. Yeah, he was on podium in the Netherlands and Valencia but his other results weren’t that good. Some races outside points, some DNFs and that’s it.
Livio’s season was full of ups and downs. He showed he could race but there was this “something” missing. He was doing some good races but he lost the pace in the middle of the race, not everytime but it happened to him a few times. Although he was there in the front group quite a lot of times his best season result was P5 in Australia. But what I would like to mention is the fact that he finished all 18 races in the season! Hats off. Unfortunately only 12 of them was on points. Shame, if he was able to finish it all on points, it would be mega result.
Khairul Idham Pawi
Pawi finished only 19th in the final standings but there is so much to talk about. Firstly, he was the surprise of the season. Almost no one knew his name when he suddenly appeared in the lead in Argentina. It was the wet race and he won it by a large margin. Before it he was 22nd in Qatar, after Argentina he was 20th in USA. Then he had some forgettable results (as there were mainly DNFs). But his time came again in Germany . He won there. In the rain of course. Then he was in the lead in Czech republic in heavy rain. How surprised I was when I saw him crashing. Not to see him winning in the rainy day in Brno was the biggest surprise for me there. And then again, only forgettable results where he even didn’t take any points. Then he was able to take points in his home race where he was 8th. Sum it up his season was about two victories and lots of DNFs. But he did one thing. People now remember him, they know who he is. Let’s hope he will be able to take good results also in dry races, not only in the wet ones.
In my opinion Jules is a good rider so I am a bit surprised he is only 20th. The more surprise I am that he scored some nice Top 10 results so I thought it would be enough for a better place in the final Championship standings. But here you see it, there are plenty of riders, everyone is good and it’s tough to get it to the best 20 in the World standings!
So this is the best 20 riders of the 2016 season. There were 50 riders who appeared in this Championship during the season. I would like to mention everyone but this post would be so long. And I don’t want to divide it into more posts. But I would like to mention a few more names.
Juanfran Guevara is one of the young boys I follow because I see talent in him. So hopefully next year he will show us that I am not wrong. He had some nice Top 10 results during the season so I think all he needs is a bit more good luck and better bike.
I also would like to mention Juanfran’s team mate Gabriel Rodrigo. Also the one who I follow more closely. Gabriel was doing some cool races, he was even in the front group. But he was often so unlucky. He lost positions or crashed. And that was a big shame because he showed to us that he could be able to fight for podium.
John McPhee is only 22nd in the Championship standings but it is worth to mention him. With his Peugeot bike it was a bit like a rollercoaster year. He did good results, then troubles and not even taking any points. His season highlight must be Brno GP when he did take victory after Pawi’s crash. Then unfortunately he injured himself seriously in the big crash of many riders in Australia. It is really good to know that he is finally back home, that doctors could let him to leave Australia after many weeks. I wish him all the best. Hopefully he will be fully recovered soon.
I myself would like to mention Darryn Binder, Brad’s younger brother. I am Binder brothers supporter, I’ve watched both quite closely for already some time. Darryn did start very poorly. First half of the season was very bad. He didn’t finish almost any race. But how the season was going he was improving. In Barcelona he took first points of his career when he finished as P12 there. His best race came in Australia where he even was in the battle for podium! I couldn’t believe my eyes and I have to admit I kept my fingers crossed for him. I wanted to see both Binder boys on podium together. Unfortunately he was 4th. But it was mega result for him, everyone there was happy about it. He then took points also in Malaysia and Valencia. So slowly it’s getting better. His team switches from Mahindra to KTM for next year and I guess this is good thing. Hopefully Darryn will be slowly improving, just step by step. With Brad it also was going slowly. I believe that Darryn’s time will come.
Marcos Ramírez did appear in the second half of the season but he impressed us. Actually I knew him a bit from CEV and he was my favourite there so when it was announced he could come to Moto3 I was quite happy. And he proved I wasn’t that wrong. He did some good races. Marcos is very promising young man. He is the future.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta is another name I would like to mention. It is another one promising young man who is worth to watch. Actually in Moto3 class in CEV it was the title fight between Ramírez and Dalla Porta. In the World Championship Dalla Porta came there in the middle of the season to replace Romano Fenati. He also did some wild card appearances before. He did take points just 3 times but next year with Aspar team he will be the dark horse there.
I would like also to mention Albert Arenas and Raul Fernandéz. These two Spaniards are worth to watch and follow their journey.
And as a Czech I also would like to say something about Karel Hanika. His season was so unfortunate. I was so sorry to see that. So he ended the contract with his team after a few rounds. I was afraid about his future but he came to CEV to race at least there. In World Championship he appeared twice then, in his home race in Brno and in season finale in Valencia. Both without points unfortunately.
Wow, there were so many more talented young riders I would like to mention but unfortunately this post would be never ending then :-D So two last mentions.
We had a girl there, María Herrera. She did some nice races with taking points but unfortunately at the end of the season she was injured.
One last mention. I would like to mention that there was also historical moment. To be more specific, it was in Aragon where Gabriel Martínez-Ábrego was racing as a wild card. For the first time in World Championship history, a Mexican appeared there! So one more country did his debut in motorbike World Championship and that’s great to see.
Photo: Red Bull KTM Ajo