MotoGP – Riders who could take their maiden podium in 2020
MotoGP 2020 has been so far, completely unpredictable, we are 4 races in and have 3 separate winners and 9 (yes 9) different podium finishers.
With a shortened calendar, MotoGP was bound to be more competitive, but with Marc Marquez getting injured in the first round, this stepped it up a whole new notch.
So far three riders have taken their first MotoGP class podiums, these are Brad Binder who also took his first race win, Franco Morbidelli and Joan Mir, all incredibly well-deserving rides, so that made us think, who else could get their first podium this season?
Takaaki Nakagami joined the MotoGP class in 2018 with Idemitsu backing in the LCR Honda team, he had a tough rookie season finishing 20th overall with just 33 points but a best finish of 6th place at Valencia stood out well for the Japanese rider. In 2019 he did much better, finishing in the top 10 a total of 9 times with a best finish of fifth place, ultimately missing the last three rounds due to injury.
Not much was thought of Nakagami when 2020 started, he was there but he wasn’t expected to do much other than be a mid-pack rider, so when he copies Marc Marquez’s riding style and leads a free practice session, everyone stands up and takes notice. Out of nowhere, this unbelievable speed has come from the Japanese rider and he took a career-best fourth place at Andalucia, finishing as the best Honda. After backing this up with an eighth and a sixth-place finish, the top 3 is within reach.
Francesco Bagnaia is the 2018 Moto2 World Champion and in 2020 he rides a Ducati GP20 for the Pramac Racing team, and he is the real deal. Riding as part of the VR46 Riders Academy, Bagnaia receives the best training facilities possible and is slowly but surely showing this on a MotoGP bike. In 2019 he was a rookie to the MotoGP class, taking just three top 10 finishes and six DNF’s including four in a row, but finished in a career-best fourth at Phillip Island.
2020 has already kicked off in style for Bagnaia, at the first race of the season he finished the race in seventh place before following this up the weekend after in Andalucia running in second place, Bagnaia was set to obtain his first MotoGP podium after starting on the front row until disaster struck, his Ducati broke down, leaving him with 0 points and a heavy heart. At Brno and Austria, we have not been able to see what Bagnaia can achieve as he was ruled out of Brno and Austria with an injury, however, once thing can be sure, the podium is waiting for ‘Pecco.’
What can we say about the super-fast Portuguese rider on the KTM RC16? KTM have been a force in 2020 with Brad Binder taking the first win for KTM with the other KTM riders looking to follow in these footsteps. Miguel Oliveira being one of them, Oliveira was a MotoGP rookie in the Tech3 team for 2019, taking nine top 10 results and a best finish of eighth place, his luck in 2020 has been awful, in the last three races he has been taken out of the race by a KTM rider, but, in the races he has finished he has taken eighth at Jerez and a career-best sixth at Brno.
MotoGP will feature the Portimao track in Portugal for the first time as the last round of the season, a track Oliveria knows well. The fast Portuguese man will be doing all he can to achieve a podium and potentially a win on home soil, keep your eyes open for Oliveira this season, he is out to do some damage.
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