Five riders you need to keep a close eye on in the second half of 2021
It’s tough to remain consistent in the Moto3™ class with the racing as frantic as it can possibly get. However, some riders would certainly fall into the category of inconsistent, usually through no fault of their own, and will be aiming to fight at the front throughout the second half of the season. Here are the riders motogp.com think you should be keeping an eye on:
Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) – 9th, 58 points:
Alcoba qualified pretty well for the first two rounds of the year in Losail, but he failed to see the chequered flag on both occasions. Another front row in Portimao highlighted his pace, but a pitlane start meant he could only score two points. Then in Jerez it was a hat-trick of front row starts for Alcoba before he finally then converted his Saturday pace into a result on Sunday as he stood on the podium on home soil.
It’s been the story of the former Junior Moto3™ World Champion’s season so far. He’s failed to qualify off of the first two rows of the grid just twice all year but has walked away with only two podium finishes in 2021 thus far. If the Catalan can tweak his race craft and use a bit more nous on a Sunday than a debut victory is in sight and he could make a charge towards the sharp end of the table.
Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) – 10th, 58 points:
Having spent six years on a KTM, the Italian made a seamless switch across to Honda machinery if the opening double in Qatar is anything to go by – a fourth place finish at the Grand Prix of Doha. Now one of the most experienced men on the lightweight grid, a lot was expected of the VR46 Academy man in 2021 and he has shown glimpses of brilliance with his standout moment being the podium in Portimao. However, misfortune has followed him wherever he’s gone so far in 2021 with a handful of incidents denying him the chance of strong results.
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Two pole positions and some impressive Friday pace has had him in contention at nearly every round this year, but three DNFs in his last four races have cost him dearly. Ever since his lap two crash at the opening round of the year, Migno has finished inside the top five in the dry every time he’s seen the chequered flag. But those crashes at Mugello, Catalunya and Assen mean he sits tenth in the standings instead of comfortably being inside the top five. It’s simple for the loveable Italian, stay clear of trouble and the results will come in the second half of the season.
Izan Guevara (GASGAS Aspar Team) – 15th, 36 points:
Guevara made a very impressive start to Grand Prix life in Qatar, immediately reaching the front row and following it up with a seventh place finish. The rookie did even better a week later, with a seriously impressive sixth position. However, those results were unsurprisingly overshadowed by fellow rookie Pedro Acosta’s unbelievable Qatar double.
Since then, the Mallorcan has finished inside the top ten just once at the Sachsenring but has regularly competed at the sharp end throughout qualifying. He was right in the mix for victory at the Catalan Grand Prix before a late mistake at Turn 10, showing he can compete at circuits he knows well. And talking of circuits he knows well, Guevara will have the Aragon Grand Prix date circled on his calendar already. A hat-trick of victories from 22nd on the grid in the Junior Moto3™ World Championship in 2020 was the turning point in his title-winning year so don’t be shocked if we see the 16-year-old make his mark at MotorLand.
Xavier Artigas (Leopard Racing) – 17th, 30 points:
Four retirements and a finish outside of the points in Mugello is why the rookie sits 17th in the standings in his first full year in the World Championship. But he has also shown he has the pace to compete at the front of the Moto3™ World Championship on a number of occasions. Four top ten finishes is a strong foundation for the young Spaniard to build on in the second half of 2021.
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Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) – 20th, 25 points:
Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) – 20th, 25 points:
Öncü is currently halfway through his second season in the World Championship and throughout those two years he has shown he’s capable of fighting it out with the very best on more than one occasion. A debut podium in Catalunya is the key moment from the first half of the year for the Turk but that wasn’t the first time he’s challenged at the top.
15 riders fighting on an astonishing last lap!
His standout race was surely the Spanish Grand Prix where the talented teen lead the way for most of the race before his youthful exuberance took over heading into the final corner. Equally, he has been performing on a Saturday too, never missing out on a place in Q2 since Moto3™ arrived back in Europe. The lightweight class grid will have to be aware of the No.53 on a circuit like the Red Bull Ring, where he ruffled more than a few feathers at both races at the Austrian circuit in 2020.