MADRID, March 3. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Losail Circuit, in Qatar, will be in charge once again of opening the 2022 season of the Motorcycle World Championship this weekend, the longest in its history with a total of 21 Grand Prix and which in its ‘queen’ category will be presents more even and exciting for the ‘return’ of Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda).
The French Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), the Australian Remy Gardner (KTM) and the Spanish Pedro Acosta (KTM) were the dominators and champions of the 2021 campaign, but of the three, only the first will defend the title since the other two have given the jump from Moto2 to MotoGP and from Moto3 to Moto2 respectively.
Now, three and a half months after the traditional closure in Cheste (Valencia) and after two pre-season tests in Malaysia and Thailand, the grid will once again roar to start a long and demanding eight-month battle, which seems to finally have its longest calendar. ‘normal’ and with all its usual appointments back again, and with two routes that are released, the Mandalika in Thailand and the Kymi Ring in Finland, unless the pandemic dictates otherwise.
The fans will also return to the stands to bring more passion to a championship that is once again very attractive in the MotoGP category, where, from the beginning, a great equality between the main bikes can be glimpsed, new at last after Dorna put end to the technical freeze that had been imposed in 2020 and 2021 to alleviate costs and maintain equity between the teams.
Two years where the great dominator of the past decade has not been among the candidates, which his rivals have taken advantage of to take a step forward in the confidence that comes from winning races and getting on the podium. Marc Márquez, six-time world champion in the ‘queen’ category between 2013 and 2019, only ran one Grand Prix in 2020, which resulted in a fall that started an ordeal of operations on his right shoulder that did not allow him to return until started already the 2021 World Cup.
The one from Cervera returned, but not yet in his best physical condition and without being able to take advantage of a Honda that was far from the best mounts. The Catalan opted for patience and his message was always to think about 2022 and the new motorcycle of the Japanese brand, but he was still able to show his character to win three Grand Prix (Germany, The Americas and Emilia-Romagna) and alleviate the bad year of the Japanese factory, which only added one more podium, the second place of Pol Espargaro in the second appointment of Misano.
The winter should have served the eight-time world champion to get back on top physically to be a clear candidate, but then another misfortune, a fall in training, caused him to miss the last two races of last season and suffer again, as in 2011, an uncomfortable diplopia (double vision) that slowed him down again.
Overcome this new mishap, and with a much better physical level and with less pain in his arm, Marc Márquez will once again be one of the candidates for the title, something for which he is cautious at the moment, unlike his rivals, many of the which indicate him as the rival to beat with Quartararo.
The one from Nice dominated last season with a firm hand to proclaim himself world champion and almost always controlled the championship in order to amass an advantage with which he could better control the final rush of the Italian Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati), who will once again be the best Borgo Panigale brand option to try and end a 15-year wait for the title from Casey Stoner in 2007.
ACOSTA, CANDIDATE IN MOTO2, CARRASCO RETURNS TO MOTO3
Both, despite the fact that they have not had the best of the preseasons, have amassed a good experience that they will make use of and lead the list of candidates for the title in the first season without the figure of Valentino Rossi, retired from motorcycles, and in which They also hope to be Joan Mir, champion in 2020 and who above all needs more victories to qualify for everything, and a Pol Espargaró who seems more used to the Honda after a difficult first year. The one from Granollers was the fastest in the Thailand test and that will be a plus.
In any case, the general opinion of all the riders is that there will be a lot of equality, a factor that will surely increase this weekend in Losail and its night race, traditionally Yamaha territory, which won both events held there last year. with Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo, where Ducati also performs well and where Honda hasn’t won since 2014 with Márquez.
As for the other two categories of the World Championship, where there seem to be more options for Spanish motorcycling is Moto2 where the young Pedro Acosta will compete. The 17-year-old from Mazarrón surprised everyone in 2021 in his Moto3 World Championship debut with the conquest of the title and KTM has maintained its confidence in his jump to the new category where he has already shown his potential.
For now, the Murcian driver will start the World Championship after being the fastest in the official pre-season test held in Portimao (Portugal) and the endorsement of being champion will give him that extra experience in a category with races different from those of last year . Without the presence of Gardner or the runner-up, Raúl Fernández, other national candidates will be Augusto Fernández, Acosta’s partner, Arón Canet (Kalex) or Albert Arenas (Kalex).
Finally, the options seem less clear in Moto3, where the favoritism falls on a veteran like the Italian Dennis Foggia (Honda), dominant in the preseason and who fought until the end last year for the title. Sergio García (GasGas) and Jaume Masiá (KTM) could be some of the tricks in a category that will see the return of Ana Carrasco (KTM), historic Supersport 300 world champion in 2018.