How MotoGP's wildest season unearthed a new superstar
Perhaps fittingly amid this most unpredictable of years, the 2020 MotoGP season was a rollercoaster ride from one weekend to the next as the absence of Marc Marquez opened the door for a new champion to follow in his ultra-consistent mould
The way to describe MotoGP in 2020 would be to compare it to a Rammstein concert. It was full of fireworks, shocks and ridiculous action, and left you in a constant state of bewilderment in its breathless 14-round run from 19 July at Jerez to 22 November at the Algarve Circuit. That it happened at all is testament to the dedication Dorna Sports' CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has to his series.
Just a week before the originally scheduled opener in Qatar, the season was put on hold as the horror of the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world. A schedule centred on Europe was eventually finalised, and numerous cost measures for 2020 and 2021 were put in place to ensure the series' survival. MotoGP's independent teams, as well as all squads in Moto2 and Moto3, received financial support from the championship during lockdown.
Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former team-mate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider
On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy
Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…
Coinciding with the arrival of Massimo Rivola as head of its MotoGP division, Aprilia has undergone an internal revolution that has spurred it from occupying last place in the team standings to leading the table in the space of just two years. Those entrenched in the project reveal how the ex-Ferrari F1 chief has achieved the dramatic turnaround
Franco Morbidelli was long overdue a promotion to factory machinery when it finally came late last year, having finished runner-up in the 2020 standings on an old Yamaha package. But since then the Italian has been a shadow of his former self as he toils to adapt to the 2022 M1, and recognises that he needs to change his style to be quick on it
The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.
Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special
Ducati had to "turn the page" after eight years with Dovizioso in MotoGP
MotoGP "will keep seeing surprise winners" like in 2020 - Crutchlow