Moto2 2021
Round 1

A New Generation of Youngsters to Aim for the Moto2 Title in 2021

qa Losail International Circuit

Three of the top-five finishers in last year’s Moto2 World Championship move into MotoGP this year, allowing a new generation of youngsters to aim for the Moto2 title in 2021.

A New Generation of Youngsters to Aim for the Moto2 Title in 2021

At least, most of them are youngsters, but the man who was fastest at the end of Losail testing was Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who is contesting his seventh season in Moto2. The 30-year-old led the way by a fraction, with the fastest five riders separated by just two tenths of a second.

Second quickest was 22-year-old Italian Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex), just 0.013 slower, followed by 23-year-old Australian Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex), 25-year-old Briton Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex) and 23-year-old Spaniard Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex).

Among the rookies graduating from Moto3 to Moto2 is brilliant Japanese youngster Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex), who finished third in last year’s Moto3 World Championship.

Ogura had a superb 2020, only his second season in World Championship racing, during which he scored seven podiums to end the year just behind champion Albert Arenas (Aspar Team Speed Up) and Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly Intact GP Kalex), who are also on the Moto2 grid this year.

Moto2 riders have had more preseason testing than the MotoGP class, with sessions a Jerez, Spain, and Portimao, Portugal, before a three-day outing at Losail which concluded on Sunday. Ogura has used his track time wisely, working to adapt himself to a more than doubly powerful Moto2 bike. The 20-year-old from Tokyo is still learning, of course, but he certainly knows his way around Losail – he finished last year’s Qatar Moto3 race in third place, just 0.344 seconds behind winner Arenas. He was 12th in testing, less than seven tenths of a second off the fastest rider.

Ogura’s team-mate during his rookie Moto2 season will be Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex), who contests his third season in the category. The 22-year-old Thai rider had some great rides last season, including a superb ride to ninth at the French GP. This year Chantra aims to put the lessons he’s learned into scoring regular top-ten results.

Sam Lowes 22
Elf Marc VDS Racing Team
I’m really excited to get the season started and I can’t wait to see what’s possible in the two races in Qatar. I’m expecting it to be a close and hard fight because all of us have done a lot of laps on the same track, so I think there’s going to be a lot of riders with very strong pace. I need to get the season kicked off in the best possible way and I know myself and the team are ready to go. The team have done a brilliant job all winter and I’m excited and ready and looking forward to making a strong start under the lights.

Marco Bezzecchi 72
SKY Racing Team VR46
I am very happy to be back on track and I hope to have fun in 2021. I like the Losail track and the testing session went very well. As always, I did a great job with the team, which I would like to thank, and we are all really excited for the race.

Remy Gardner 87
Red Bull KTM Ajo
I’m very satisfied with the work we did over the last three days of testing. Despite the conditions not being so good, in general, we set a strong pace. We are clear about things for next weekend, and that is the important thing. I want to thank the team for everything. I can’t wait for the first race of the year.

Ai Ogura
Ai Ogura 79
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia
We have done three days of testing in Qatar and I feel good. We were able to make a step forward every session, so we are coming quite good. I haven’t had so much time on this bike, so of course I am improving with every session, so the plan is to keep going like this. We have two race weekends in Qatar, so I want to go into these races with no stress and just enjoy the racing. The most important thing is to finish the race to gather more data and information about the Moto2 bike.  There is a lot of work to do and I will give my maximum to be ready.

Somkiat Chantra
Somkiat Chantra 35
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia
During the last few days of testing in Qatar we worked very hard to find the best settings for the first two races at this track. The first race of a new season is always a special challenge and can be quite difficult, so I will be focusing on working well on Friday and Saturday so that I can be sure to fight in the top group on Sunday.

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