Moto2 was a season of unexpected surprises, here are our riders of the year.
This was tough, incredibly tough, so many riders impressed us including Aron Canet, Marco Bezzecchi, Remy Gardner and more but there can only be 3 spots given away.
Firstly we will start with our rider of the year, Sam Lowes.
Where do we start with Sam Lowes? What an incredible 2020 season he has had following some incredibly difficult years in MotoGP and various Moto2 teams. It was a shock to many when it was announced that Lowes had signed to the then champions Marc VDS with many quick to judge and slate Lowes and the team for their decision but they were also quick to be proven wrong, oh so very wrong. Lowes was hired to get himself back onto his feet in 2020 before a title challenge in 2021 but Lowes had other ideas on his mind, he had an outstanding start to the season despite missing Qatar due to an injury, taking 2 x P4 finishes at Jerez before scoring his first podium since 2016 at the race in Brno.
Lowes would instead put up a title fight in his first season with the team, including taking a magnificent triple win in Le Mans and both races at Aragon, sadly though his luck cursed him and a crash at Valencia which resulted in three broken bones in his right hand scuppered his championship chances, taking P14 at Valencia which was the first time he finished outside of the top 10 all season long, watching the title lead be taken from him helplessly.
Despite this injured hand his race at Portimao was something else, true heroics were shown to take P3 in the season finale, putting absolutely everything on the line to try and win the Moto2 title including a battle with Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini. The entire weekend it looked like he would sit out of the race with clear pain being shown on his face and in the pits but he soldiered on to take his best Moto2 result ever of P3 overall and best points tally of 196 points, bettering his 2015 tally of 186 despite racing 4 less races. This is why he is our rider of the year.
Runner Up #1 – Joe Roberts
After finally being given competitive machinery, Joe Roberts was able to show what he is all about, donning the blue, white and red colours of the American Racing Team livery he would have his best season in the class to date, after struggling on the NTS and KTM chassis’ in previous years he would finally get a taste of a Kalex once again after his 2017 season and boy would he impress, he took 3 pole positions and a podium at Brno plus was completely robbed of a great result at Le Mans after starting from pole, being demoted to last place plus some more, not that this would stop him from fighting his way back through the field to P6 in a performance anyone would be proud of.
Roberts’ phenomenal 2020 campaign bagged him a ride with the ItalTrans team for 2021 who are the current class champions, giving him the opportunity to show Moto2 what the USA are all about and hopefully putting the American flag back on the top step of the podium once again after a long absence. His ability to muscle through the field and make it count when it matters puts him in a great place for 2021 and we are excited to see what he can do.
Runner Up #2 – Jake Dixon
Jake Dixon you absolute beauty! We named him as our 2019 runner up and we got a hell of a lot of stick for it, receiving some genuinely nasty comments from some clearly clueless people who don’t know/understand the true talents of Jake Dixon. He made the move from BSB to Moto2 in 2019 which is a monumental jump from racing Superbikes with no electronics in national tracks to racing around the world in Moto2 with their stiff chassis and the highest level of competition you’ll ever see with every rider wanting a spot in MotoGP which can mean the top 27 riders are often covered by 1 second, it is not uncommon to see the top 20 covered by 0.500 seconds these days.
With all of this information in mind, Dixon’s transformation in Moto2 in 2020 after switching to Kalex machinery has been night and day, he improved every single race in 2020 after learning the Kalex and adapting to the Petronas squad who prior to 2020 had never made much of an impression in the Moto2 class. About halfway through the season something just clicked for Dixon and he was able to do everything he wanted with the Kalex Moto2, going as far as leading the French Grand Prix to the shock and awe of every single viewer who could not believe that a rider who was previously unheard of to many, especially people who do not follow the British Superbikes series, was leading a Moto2 Grand Prix race. Sadly Dixon would break hearts across Britain crashing out of the race but was able to bounce back to take a career-best finish of P4 at the Aragon round.
His season was cut short after fracturing his wrist and damaging the cartilage in the European GP prematurely ending his season, forcing him to miss the final three races. Despite this, his confidence will have grown and if he can keep the same rhythm in 2021 Britain may have yet another rider on the top step of the podium.
Featured images – www.motogp.com