The brilliant Australian track is a rider favourite. It has long been considered one of the jewels on the current calendar. Its series of long, flowing curves, taken in third and fourth gear are spread across 2.7 miles of glorious, undulating tarmac. Its proximity to the Bass Straight means it gives Mugello a run for its money in terms of the most spectacular setting of the year.
In the FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship, Xavier Artigas (Leopard Impala Junior Team) is the man in the lead heading in, but his gap has been cut significantly in recent races – not least of all thanks to a stunner of a triple threat from Izan Guevara (Openbank Aspar Team) in Aragon last time out. The rider now second overall won all three races at MotorLand and from way back on the grid, bringing him to within just 10 points of Artigas’ lead. Can he continue that form in Valencia? There are 75 points on the table in three remaining races for the FIM Moto3™ JWCh, so it’s not the tall order it once was for a late charge at the crown. Artigas has good form at the track though, not least of all a Grand Prix podium in Moto3™ as a wildcard, so it won’t be easy.
Massimo Rivola, Aprilia Racing CEO: “First and foremost, I wish to thank Bradley for his efforts this season. He took one the unexpected role of factory rider with great dignity and outstanding performance, and his contribution was extremely valuable. Now we are excitedly awaiting Lorenzo’s début. This promotion is certainly a reward for his great season as a CIV rider, dominating the Superbike category. But it is also a step of growth for a rider who will be a tester for our RS-GP in 2021 as well. Riding our fledgling project in the race as well will certainly be a step forward for Lorenzo and, therefore, for all of Aprilia Racing.”
Pulling away from turn 10 and onto the longest straight section of the track, head all the up to sixth gear before speeding through the fastest corner, turn 11, in fifth – and up to 260km/h. The following two right-hand turns will benefit from shifting to third gear, before preparing for Carro at corner 14, which means back to second gear, or even first if it seems necessary.
In addition, 14 riders are still mathematically in with a chance of bagging the 2020 MotoGP™ crown. Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) is the last of those on 64 points to Mir’s 137. Up until this weird and wonderful campaign, the highest number of riders still in with a shot at the Championship was in 2006, when eventual winner Nicky Hayden, Valentino Rossi, Marco Melandri, Dani Pedrosa and Loris Capirossi could all still lift the coveted trophy at the end of the year.
Aspar Team will have Sergio Garcia as the spearhead of its Moto3™ project in the 2021 World Championship. The young rider from Castellón, born in 2003, arrives at the Aspar Team at the age of 17, but already with a victory under his belt, having won the 2019 Valencia GP.
The 23-year-old Spanish Ecstar rider arrives in Valencia with a precious 14-point lead in the Championship with just three rounds remaining. Six podiums, including three second places but no wins have given him the advantage. Eight opponents have won races with two riders grabbing two or more wins, but nobody has matched the consistency of the former Moto3™ World Champion. Mir won 10 Grand Prix in 2017 to clinch the World title with two rounds remaining. It is going to be an awful lot closer this time.
Jordi Torres: “I am very happy to renew with Sito’s team. Without a doubt, this is our best option. This season we have worked very well, with a great technical team, feeling like a family and, in the end, that is what is worth more. After evaluating several options, loyalty with Sito’s team and the technical staff is what I want, and I am really delighted. I am comfortable, everything has gone well for us and now is the time to continue learning and enjoying together.
So far Williams_Adrian has proved himself to be the class of the 2020 field, winning three races from four and finishing second on the other occasion. The fourth race of the year did give the rest a glimmer of a chance as Williams_Cristian, brother of the current leader, claimed a timely victory to place him second in the standings, 29 points in arrears. There is a great deal of work to be done for experienced names trastevere73 (third overall, 34 points back) and AndrewZH (fifth, 51 behind), who endured a nightmare fourth race at Sepang, if they want to haul themselves back into title contention!
This ground-breaking concept allowed numerous riders to get the maximum out of the RC211V: Alex Barros, Max Biaggi, Toni Elias, Sete Gibernau, Nicky Hayden, Marco Melandri, Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi, Makoto Tamada and Tohru Ukawa all won races on the bike. In 2006 Hayden took the RC211V’s third riders title. At the same time the bike took Honda’s fourth MotoGP™ constructors crown in five years.