Another riders’ review of 2016 season is here. This time it is the review of Moto2 category. As well as at the previous posts I write a few sentences to each rider from Top 20 in the World Championship standings and then also pick some other names about who I would like to say something too.
First of all I would like to say that I am so proud of him that he really did it. Johann is my favourite rider since he was racing in Red Bull Rookies Cup. And that’s already a few years ago. I’ve been supporting him for many years already. Last season was amazing. The 2016 season was a bit harder for him. He did have some problems and also competitive rivals. It wasn’t an easy season at all. But he managed it and took his second world title in a row. He is the first rider in Moto2 history who was able to take two world titles in a row. Well done!
When Tom took his victory in Qatar I said to myself “Okay, it’s just first race of the season, it doesn’t mean anything.” And then it really looked like that it could be his only one victory of the season. He even didn’t look like title contender. But what he did in the second part of the season was just phenomenal. I was really surprised. Suddenly he started to win race by race, he became one of the candidates for the title. Well, he ended as runner-up but I think he can talk about the season as about a successful one. Just one shadow on it is maybe the bad weekend in Brno. Two very hard crashes, we were so afraid of his health there. And then, the next race weekend he was fighting for the victory. Unbelievable.
After Sam Lowes wasn’t able to keep Zarco’s pace and did lots of mistakes it looked like Alex Rins could be Zarco’s biggest rival. He did some really nice battles and races. I myself have to admit that I was a bit surprised when I saw that he lost the fight with Lüthi.
Franco was a bit inconspicuous at the beginning of the season. At least to me he was. But how the season was going I started to follow him more and more. At the end of the season I hoped he could take the 3rd place overall in the standings. He got 4th but still, he did great job and already now I am looking forward what he will show us next year. For me he is the dark horse of the season 2017 and I hope we will finally see him winning some races.
This is the biggest disappointment of the season for me. Before the start of the season Sam was one of my favourites for title. I thought he could be the biggest rival for Zarco. But Sam did lots of mistakes, he had lots of crashes. And with that he couldn’t be the real rival for others.
Actually I don’t remember anything special what this man did. Wait, I just remember his podium in Misano where he dedicated it to Shoya Tomizawa (as it was close to the sad anniversary). But that’s the only thing I remember about Nakagami’s season. I’m sorry. It was like his normal average performance with some podiums and also some not that great races.
Upside down, that’s Jonas. Great results are mixed up with some bad ones. Yes, that’s racing but his results are beating you into your eyes. Somehow I don’t understand how Jonas could be 7th in the final standings. To be fair to him I have to say that his season wasn’t as bad as it might be seen from what I just wrote. He did Top 10 results in 13 races which is really good. The highlight is his only one season victory which he managed in the rainy day in Brno. He did great job, I was so happy to see it.
For me Lorenzo is the same case like Franco Morbidelli. He was also somehow a bit invisible at the beginning of the season but how it all was going on he started to show his racing skills and I started to follow him. His race in Misano was amazing. That fight with Rins was great and every racing fan had to enjoy it. I was really glad for him that he did it and took his first ever victory there. Hopefully more are coming next year.
Nice surprise of the season. His results were quite stable with no big fluctuation. So that was the key to be in Top 10 of the final standings. In some races Hafizh was close to his first ever podium result and I have to say I really wanted to see him there. So maybe next season.
Simone surprised me with his podium result in Qatar. But then he added another one in France. But these are his only two podium results and to be honest his other results aren’t as good as these two. Yes, he did some Top 10 finishes but it was just average performance for him.
Similar like Simone, Mattia surprised me with some results but unfortunately there were no rostrums for him. I thought his best time in racing, as well as Simone’s, is over but it looks like these two Italians have still something to offer.
I wonder how to describe Dominique’s season and I would say “strange”. It suits it actually. After the difficult end of 2015 where he was injured seriously he did come back in style for 2016. He started the season with very good results and it looked like he could be one of the boys who would fight for top places regularly. But somehow it changed. He wasn’t able to keep it. And then unfortunately he injured again. It was in the middle of the season. Then he signed the contract for 2017 with another team and his current team fired him and Dominique wasn’t able to finish the season. I still don’t understand it. He probably had to have something like that in his contract because I really don’t understand how his team could fire him when he only signed new contract for another season. Others were also signing contracts with new teams. Yes, I’ve already written it. Strange. This word describes it well.
For someone Alex was maybe kind of disappointment as he was only P13 in the final standings. People expected more from a boy who is younger brother of the big champion Marc Márquez. Alex had lots of DNFs in the season and this is what cost him better place in the standings. Especially the beginning of the season was hard for him as from the first 5 races of the year he finished only 1. But then how the season was going it started to be better. Before Aragon GP I guessed he could be on podium there. My motorsport friends were laughing at me. Alex was 2nd in the race. Don’t laugh at my intuition, it’s almost always right.
Marcel did just average races but then the German GP came. I was keeping my fingers crossed for him as he was doing very well. It looked like he could take podium finish in his home GP. But then he crashed. Real shame. Then in Austria he took P5 which was good and this is actually his best season result.
It was the hardest season in Sandro’s career. I have to admit here on my blog that he is one of my biggest favourites. So it was so hard to see all his downs in the season. But true fans never stop believing and supporting and that’s what I did. I kept my fingers crossed every race weekend and believed that one day the good luck would appear again. And it all really came. It was at the end of the season but it came. P5 in Japan and even P3 in Australia. So let’s hope that this was his most difficult season of his life and that better times are coming.
Axel surprised me. In a positive way. He showed he had race pace and good performance. He did some nice Top 10 results. To be honest I’ve never thought about him that he’s great racer but this season changed my mind. Maybe he is just about to show us his real racing potential. Unfortunately for him there were also lots of DNFs.
A bit hard season for Xavier. His only Top 10 result, P8, was in Austin. Since then he wasn’t able to be there, his did some P11s or worse. And that’s not where I would like to see him. Time ago he was title contender, where did these times disappeared, that’s what I wonder about sometimes.
Xavier’s team mate had also hard season. Actually his results are a bit similar to Xavier’s ones. So was it like that because of the bike? We can just wonder… But Julián did P3 in Germany which was surprising result but also very nice. I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t wish it to him. Especially in times when it was probably his last season of his racing career.
Luis is 19th in the final standings. The highlight is his podium from Qatar. I will never forget his happiness and also how I was happy from it. It was something amazingly unbelievable. But then things happened how it shouldn’t have. The 3rd June was the saddest day of the year. We will never forget your nice smile and always positive mood and attitude. We all miss you so much Luis.
Xavi became the rookie of the year and he deserved this. He really impressed me. I started to follow him already in 2015 and in 2016 he showed I wasn’t wrong. He is talent. It’s the matter of time when he shows it. He is still in the phase of learning. I am actually quite curious about next season. But coming back to 2016 I would like to point out his second half of the season where he did score points regularly. And this is what matters.
So that’s the Top 20 of the final standings. But there are some more riders I would like to talk about.
Miguel Oliveira and Danny Kent had hard season in Leopard Team. They were my favourite team mates, for me it was kind of dream team. But as I already said it wasn’t an easy season for them. Miguel’s best result was P8 in Barcelona. At the end of the season he had to skip 4 race weekends due to injury. Danny’s best result was P6 in Qatar. Unfortunately he had quite a lot of DNFs.
Valentino Rossi’s younger brother Luca Marini did his first whole season in World Championship. He was the rookie so he was just learning but he did score some points. I am a bit curious about his future, if he has racing in his genes.
Isaac Viñales did some nice results but I have to say that I expected something more from him.
Jesko Raffin did some record. He finished all races where he started. It means 17 races (he didn’t start in Barcelona in the memory of his team mate Luis). That’s really good, I call that consistency. But unfortunately from all these 17 finished races he scored points just 4 times.
Remy Gardner came there in the middle of the season. And already in his first race in Barcelona he did score a point. Then during the season he added 7 more points.
Anthony West did some wild card appearances but the Czech one is really memorable. He showed us once again that he was the man who knew how to race on wet track. It was with Czech team who was racing with about 3 years old bike. And Anthony did finish as P10. Big result not only for him but also for the Montáže Brož team.
Edgar Pons, younger Axel’s brother, also did score some points so we will see what future brings.
Tetsuta Nagashima who comes from Ajo academy did some wild card appearances and also took some points. I think he is quite a big talent so we will see.
I also would like to mention Iker Lecuona. He is only 15 years old so everything is ahead of him. He did second part of the season. He didn’t score any points but I think he has enough time to show us his talent and racing skills. I actually believe in him.
I also would like to mention Efrén Vázquez. His crash in Austin looked really nasty and since then he didn’t appear on track as racer. I think his career is now over, now he works in of the Moto3 teams.
That’s all from me about the Moto2 2016. This review is just for warm myself up before the 2017 season kicks off and before I will properly start this blog.
Photo: Ajo Motorsport