Plenty of accolades are there to be won as a compelling final three races of the season awaits
The business end of the 2021 MotoGP™ World Championship season has arrived. Three Rounds remain and there’s still so much to be decided between now and the chequered flag in Valencia, so we’ve decided to take a quick look at what’s up for grabs and who the contenders are for each crown left on the table.
MotoGP™ Riders Championship
The one every rider dreams of winning. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) has his first match point at the upcoming Emilia-Romagna GP, with the Frenchman’s points advantage over Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) sitting at 52 points.
The second 2021 Misano instalment should be an astonishing watch. Pecco’s victory on home turf a few weeks ago will provide the Italian with all the confidence he’ll need of repeating that feat, but Quartararo was just 0.3s behind Pecco at the chequered flag. Will Quartararo claim the crown at Misano? The question on everyone’s lips.
MotoGP™ Teams Championship
Ducati Lenovo Team are currently leading the way in the Team Championship, but it’s mighty close. The Bologna factory have 351 points to their name with three Rounds to go, with Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP two points adrift on 349.
Quartararo is the sole point-scorer for the Iwata factory since Styria – Maverick Viñales’ move to Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, test rider Cal Crutchlow’s efforts and the returning Franco Morbidelli have, of course, affected Yamaha’s points totals. Can the latter return to point-scoring form at Misano though? The coveted triple crown is still on for both Yamaha and Ducati in 2021, and neither will be letting up before the chequered flag in Valencia.
MotoGP™ Manufacturers Championship
Again, Ducati are leading this chase. It’s another fascinating duel taking place in 2021, as the red machines lead the blue machines by nine points – 291 for Ducati plays 282 for Yamaha. Only the leading rider in a race for the manufacturer scores points for this Championship, and with Quartararo and Bagnaia so evenly matched, it looks like this could go all the way to Valencia.
With Quartararo the only Yamaha rider looking likely to challenge for podiums between now and the final race of the year, Ducati are looking good. But don’t put it past El Diablo spoiling this party for the famous Italian marque.
MotoGP™ Rookie of the Year
Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) vs Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama). Who will end the year as the highest-placed rookie? Both riders have been hugely impressive in their own right, with Martin currently boasting one victory, two further podiums and three pole positions. It’s been a rollercoaster 2021 for the Spaniard after his terrifying Portimao crash, but he’s bounced back phenomenally.
One older equipment, Bastianini had a quieter opening half of the season than Martin. However, a P6 in Aragon was followed by a marvellous maiden MotoGP™ podium at Misano, before ‘Bestia’ claimed P6 again at COTA. The Italian has been one of the standout riders – if not the standout – over the past three races, and that’s why there’s now just 11 points between the Ducati duo heading into the final three Rounds.
MotoGP™ Best Independent Rider
This battle looks a little clearer than what we’ve looked at so far. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) is firmly in the driving seat on 141 points. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) is the next best Independent Team rider in the overall standings on 104 points, so if results go the Frenchman’s way at Misano, then this title can be wrapped up.
Moto2™ Riders Championship
The intermediate class title race has been ferocious in 2021, and all roads point towards this fight going right down to the wire. Remy Gardner and Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Raul Fernandez have been in a league of their own this season, and after COTA’s drama for Gardner, there’s just nine points splitting Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s 2022 pairing.
Momentum is certainly with Fernandez at the moment, but the advantage is still Gardner’s with three races left on the table. The Spaniard finished 0.4s ahead of the Australian at the San Marino GP in a 1-2 for Ajo’s men, what will happen this time around?
Moto3™ Riders Championship
When rookie sensation Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) won in Styria, Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) was 97 points shy. Now, heading to Misano – a track he’s won at already this season – the Italian has closed the gap to just 30 points.
In the last 10 races, Foggia has failed to stand on the podium only twice and has four victories to his name. The number seven is the in-form Moto3™ rider, of that there is no doubt. However, Acosta still holds the cards, so can the Spaniard turn his recent misfortune around? Never count it out. And there’s also a small chance Acosta walks away from Misano as the Moto3™ World Champion, so don’t miss any of the action.
Moto3™ Teams and Constructors Championships
With an 84-point lead over Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team, Red Bull KTM Ajo can wrap up the Teams Championship at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli if results go their way.
The Constructor battle between KTM and Honda hangs in the balance though. KTM lead the way with 308 points, with Honda sitting on 290 points – who are backing?
2021’s conclusion is going to be sensational! Misano, Portimao and then Valencia will decide where each of these titles go, and we can’t wait.