There are lots of changes in the baby classes this year, which is the norm, really.
We’re not going to go team by team here, there’s far too much going on. Instead, I’ll take a look at who I think will be the front-runners in both.
The biggest news in Moto2 is probably the fact that this is the last year the middle class will run Honda engines. Starting next year, Triumph will power the 600s, which is bewildering, considering how little racing they do these days. This will be a story worth following, seeing if the engines are actually any cop.
We’ll have a new world champion for the first time since 2015 this year, with Johann Zarco making the jump to MotoGP. His team has become the new KTM Moto2 outfit, with 2016 Moto2 champion Brad Binder lining up alongside 2015 Moto3 runner up Miguel Oliveira. The team has a proven pedigree of winning and the riders have a history of winning races, so this could be a good combination.
Their main rivals could come in the form of the bright yellow Pons HP40 machines. Lead rider Alex Rins has also made the jump to GP, so this year Edgar Pons is joined by Fabio Quartararo. Their challenge depends on how quickly Quartararo adapts to the bike, but if he gets to grips with it, the team stand a chance of success.
Outside of that, you’re looking at the usual suspects really. Thomas Luthi will be hanging around, Domi Aegerter joins Danny Kent on the Kiefer bike and should be able to swing some podiums on it, and Sandro Cortese will no doubt be a pest.
Two newbies to look out for. Yonny Hernandez returns to Moto2 after being unable to find a ride in GP, and pilots an AGR, while Jorge Navarro gets to unleash his obvious talent on board the Gresini Sam Lowes has departed.
There are so many new names and bike changes it’s hard to figure out where to start. So instead, I’ll just give you a few to look out for. You’ll know which ones to root for when you see them on the track anyway.
- Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold)
- Nicolo Bunega (Sky VR 46)
- Niccoló Antonelli (Red Bull KTM)
- Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia)
Also worth noting are John McPhee, aboard the Dorna-funded British Talent Team (launched in conjunction with the new British Talent Cup), and Maria Herrera, aboard the AGR, continually flying the flag for female riders in motorsport.