This post is going to be about my own thoughts and opinions on the 2017 season in Moto2. So far there were just two race weekends but I feel an urgent need to write something. I just want to write about my feelings about the start of the new season. I would like to reveal who did surprise me, who made me happy or also who disappointed me.
Zarco, Folger, Rins and Lowes have come to MotoGP. So when I was thinking about the potential title contenders, three names came to my mind immediately. These names were: Franco Morbidelli, Takaaki Nakagami, Thomas Lüthi. When you look at the results so far you can say I was pretty right about it. Of course, it’s still just the start of the season and anything can happen in the upcoming months. But somehow I felt these three would play the most importnat role in the season. And to be honest, I would feel pretty happy if I was right about it. It just would be the proof that I follow motorbikes races for a long time already and know it a lot :-D
Before the season I also predicted that Franco Morbidelli would do the Brad Binder Moto3 2016 style in 2017. I predicted that when he gets the victory once then he will keep winning and no one else would stop him. Well, he’s already won two races so maybe I was right with that prediction?
And honestly it would be amazing if he were able to keep it. Of course, I don’t expect 19 victories, that’s for sure that some bad luck also would come. But it just would be amazing if he keeps this great form until the end of the season. I love this man. In Argentina, when Márquez was chasing him, Franco looked so calmly and that everything was in his hands. The way how he controlled his bike was really masterly.
I am really very happy for Franco that he started the season in such an amazing way. And I will keep my fingers crossed for him the whole season. After my favourite Zarco left Moto2 now I have another rider who I want to follow very closely. I haven’t met him so far so I hope this year I will be lucky enough to take a picture with him :-D
I know it’s too early to say something like this but I really can imagine that Franco would go to MotoGP next year. I can imagine him going to (or better to say stay in) Marc VDS team to replace Rabat maybe. Or to go to race on the second bike for LCR. But these are just my current thoughts, this is what I just wonder about.
Well, as I’ve said I predicted also Nakagami and Lüthi to be the riders who should fight for the title. And after the Qatar race these together with Morbidelli where exactly the three riders on the podium! So I was proud of myself :-D
But Thomas Lüthi was on podium also in Argentina so maybe he is the dark horse of the Championship. We can’t know now. Time will tell. But honestly, I am not his biggest fan so I hope there will be some other riders battling for top.
Takaaki Nakagami unfortunately crashed in Argentina so now he is 6th the the overall standing in Moto2.
Special part of this post is about Miguel Oliveira. Oh dear, how proud I am of him! I’ve already mentioned it in my Moto3 post that I’ve been his fan for some years already. Last year it wasn’t ideal. It was his debut season in Moto2 and with Leopard team it somehow didn’t work very well. And also unfortunately he was injured and skipped part of the second part of the season.
So when I read that he’s going to Ajo team I was so happy. He was coming back to my beloved team. Mega news for me. But I was also a little bit worried about it because the Ajo team announced that would go for KTM bike (with Honda engine in it of course) and their name would be same as in Moto3 – Red Bull KTM Ajo. I was really worried how that KTM bike would work. But oh my god! Miguel was fighting for podium already in their first ever race in Qatar! I couldn’t believe my own eyes. He ended as P4 but still it was an amazing result and I was so happy for the team. In Argentina it was even better. He took his first ever pole position. With Franco behind him so it was like the seventh heaven for me :-D Miguel was doing great job in the race and finished 2nd. I was so happy and proud of him. Franco won that race so it was double happiness for me!
I really enjoy these times because it doesn’t happen very often to me that my favourite riders are on the podium together. I’ve always been big fan of Moto3 but so far it seems like this year that Moto2 will be the category I will follow the most.
I am also very happy for Lorenzo Baldassarri, my another favourite rider. P8 in Qatar and very good P4 in Argentina, these are really good results. He is 4th in the Championship standing and this is very good too. The season is long and I hope he will get some podium finishes. It would be nice.
I am also very happy for Xavi Vierge. I have been supporting him for the third year already. He is 5th in the Championship standing! Fifth! That’s mega. Really. I’m so proud of him. P9 in Qatar and P5 in Argentina, I was so happy to see that and I hope it will continue like that also in the upcoming races.
Luca Marini has been also doing good job. Although he doesn’t belong to my favourite riders (but in the same time I have to admit that I don’t mind him) I need to mention him in this post. Because so far he was 6th and 12th in the races and these are some good places.
I still somehow tend to underestimate Alex Márquez. And I even don’t know why. But somehow I don’t believe he would be able to fight maybe for the title. Really I don’t know where these feelings are coming from. In Qatar he was 5th which was really great start to the season for him. And in Argentina he was equal rival to Franco. But somehow I still didn’t believe Alex would be on the podium. Okay, now I reveal it. Before the race I had a strange feeling that he would crash. But how the race was going, he was doing so well that I started to believe he could finish it and got double for the team. I even forgot my prediction. And then it happened. A crash. I really don’t know what is it, if I have some special ability to predict it or what but it’s not the first time this happened to me (and then later it happened to me in MotoGP too when I predicted his brother would crash too). So I am sorry for him that I predicted something that cruel to him.
Well, I also should say something about my another hero. Sandro Cortese. Last season was the most difficult one for him in his career. And I really hope that the worst is behind him and good luck is coming back. The season 2017 didn’t start very well for him because he was only 22nd in Qatar and I was very disappointed and sad from it. But in Argentina he did fight and it was P8! And that made me happy. I hope from now on it’s really getting better and better. I would love to see him up there regularly.
I also realized (already in the second part of last season) that I started to support Marcel Schrötter. But so far I am a little bit confused from his results but somehow I expected something more from him, not P16 and P11. Yes, these are good results but I can’t help, I expected top 10 positions.
Well, Leopard team who is Kiefer Racing from this season again also hasn’t convinced me. I was happy to read that Dominique Aegerter was coming there and would be Danny Kent‘s team mate. They both are my favourite riders. But it’s not ideal. At least to me it seems so. Dominique was 11th and 14th, Danny was 13th and in Argentina he didn’t finish the race. Yes, they both scored some points but I hoped for better results.
Well, I write to (almost) everybody that I expected better results. But yeah I know, the class is very competitive this year, there are so many great riders. And there are lots of them I like and support and would love to see them doing well.
Who is the biggest disappointment for me so far, it’s Yonny Hernández. I really believed he could do very well in this class but so far it’s bad. And it’s a big shame. I would love to see him up there fighting for top positions.
Now I would like to write a few lines about the rookies. This season there are quite a lot of them. And so far Francesco Bagnaia is the best one from them. Which is great to see as I am his fan. He was 12th in Qatar and 7th in Argentina which are good results and I hope and believe in a progress during the season.
Brad Binder, the Moto3 2016 World Champion, had very hard start to the year. He is my big favourite (you know Ajo boy), last year me and my friends made him happy in Brno GP when we gave him a gift to his birthday (but that’s for another blog post). He is such a nice person. But before this season in the pre-season test he broke his arm. He had to skip the other tests. In Qatar it wasn’t very easy for him, he also had some troubles with his bike and finished only 20th. Not where the Moto3 Champion should be. But in Argentina he did very brave race and was 9th. But the team later revealed that Brad was racing with pain in his arm. After some scans it was announced that the plate in his arm moved and that there were some other problems so he had to undergo another surgery. He will have to skip the next round in USA for sure and it’s still not clear if it all will be fine enough for the Spanish round in Jerez in 3 weeks. Poor him. I’m so sorry for him. But never stop believing in him. I wish him speedy recovery and to come back in a strong shape.
Jorge Navarro is another rookie there. Well, to be honest I didn’t expect anything from him. And so far I knew why I thought it. He didn’t finish the race in Qatar and he was 15th in Argentina.
But if anybody surprises me, then it’s Fabio Quartararo. Years ago there were comments that he would be the new Márquez, future Champion etc. But in Moto3 he wasn’t as good as lots of people expected. But now in Moto2 it seems like it could be his category. He was 7th in Qatar, yeah he didn’t finish the race in Argentina but was showing a good performance there. So maybe he’s the one to watch out. Although I have to admit he’s not my favourite.
Axel Bassani did a surprising move (for me) from the Supersport category to Moto2. But for me he’s a big talent and I am curious about him. He didn’t take part in the season opener in Qatar but he was ready for the race in Argentina. It was only P25 but I believe better results will come soon.
Other rookies there are Andrea Locatelli, Khairul Idham Pawi and Stefano Manzi but all these have zero points so far. With Pawi we have to wait for some wet race you know :-D
Iker Lecuona is also considered to be the rookie although he did some races already in the second part of last season. But this season should be his first full. Unfortunately he is seriously injured and I have no idea when and if he comes back. When I saw what happened to him I was a bit scared. I really hope everything goes well. I wish him all the best!
Well, there probably would be much more to talk about but I think it’s all for now. Let’s leave something for the other posts to the future :-D
Photo: Ajo Motorsport