There will be a new MotoGP World champion in 2020. For the last decade, the premier championship of motorcycle road racing has been dominated by Spanish riders, with Jorge Lorenzo claiming three titles and even more impressively, iconic Marc Márquez bursting onto the scene, winning six championships in the last seven years.
However, after Márquez crashed in the opening race of the 2020 season at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez, breaking the humerus in his right arm and enduring a long recovery process, the 27-year-old hasn’t returned and may not compete again until the 2021 season.
@marcmarquez93 will undergo surgery after this horrendous crash at Jerez!
We wish the world champion the very best in his recovery! #SpanishGP pic.twitter.com/BOSmDo7dfG
— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) July 19, 2020
Given that Márquez has been such a dominant force in MotoGP, winning the last four consecutive world championships, competition has been fierce amongst riders who are all eager to become the next king of Grand Prix motorcycle racing. Let’s take a look at the leading contenders.
Remarkable as it sounds, since the Grand Prix Road-Racing World Championship began in 1949 with 500cc bikes, then rebranded as MotoGP in 2002 with the introduction of 990cc bikes, no Frenchman has ever won the premier world title. That could all be set to change in 2020, with 21-year-old Fabio Quartararo leading the way.
Voilaaaaaa !!!!! P1 / Let’s gooooo !!!! P1 pic.twitter.com/QmTxyM24Ml
— Fabio Quartararo (@FabioQ20) September 27, 2020
Top of the standings after 8 races and with 6 remaining, Quartararo leads the MotoGP World Championship 2020 betting, currently priced at 4/6 odds heading into the final races of the campaign. He also has the most victories this season, winning the Spanish Grand Prix, Andalusian Grand Prix, and most recently, the Catalan Grand Prix.
Keen to ensure the Spanish flag keeps flying high, Joan Mir has become one of the most consistent riders in the 2020 MotoGP World Championship, albeit without winning a single race. Nevertheless, the 23-year-old has managed to achieve four podium finishes in the first 8 races of the season, including two in second place.
“I’m really pleased with today’s work, it’s so nice for Suzuki to have 2 riders on the podium after a long time”
“Estoy muy satisfecho con el trabajo de hoy, es genial para #Suzuki tener 2 pilotos en el podio después de tanto tiempo”#CatalanGP @MotoGP @suzukimotogp pic.twitter.com/JK25JHJcAf
— JoanMir36 (@JoanMirOfficial) September 27, 2020
Mir has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence in Grand Prix motorcycle racing, having won the 2017 Moto3 World Championship, then finishing sixth in the 2018 Moto2 World Championship. Twelfth last year debuting in MotoGP, he is undoubtedly set for an exciting future in the highest level of international motorcycle racing.
Amongst what almost seems to be a production line of Spanish motorcycle racing talents, 25-year-old Maverick Viñales is a more experienced hand in MotoGP, not to mention a fierce competitor. The 2013 Moto3 World Champion progressed to third in the 2014 Moto3 World Championship rankings, before being handed his opportunity in MotoGP.
Pure happiness! That moment of calm at the top of the podium… / Pura felicidad! Ese momento de calma en lo más alto del podio… #EmiliaRomagnaGP#MV12 #12gang #MonsterYamaha #MotoGP pic.twitter.com/HgM9cLtAUy
— Maverick Viñales (@mvkoficial12) September 20, 2020
Twelfth in his 2015 debut campaign, Viñales has never finished outside the top five riders since. Fourth in 2016, third in 2017, fourth in 2018, and third again in the 2019 MotoGP World Championship, this could finally be the year he reaches the top of the pile. With two podium finishes, plus an excellent win at the Emilia Romagna and Rimini’s Coast Grand Prix, he remains firmly in the championship reckoning.
Competitive Season Finish
All three of the aforementioned riders can make their mark in the six remaining races of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship. With plenty of race points up for grabs, the competition for the biggest prize in motorcycle racing remains wide open.
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