We studied all the racing classes across multiple continents in 2020, here are our overall 2020 riders of the year.
2020 was a mad season with so many outstanding riders showing their colours and new champions crowned, there was an unbelievable amount of talent which has blossomed and developed with names appearing on podiums and winners trophies which were completely unexpected. There were some names new and some names old but every rider went out of their way to put their all into racing in 2020.
We have unveiled our riders of the year across the MotoGP championship, but there are two very special riders who have won our rider of the year award with all classes from BSB, CEV, CIV, WorldSBK, MotoGP and more taken into consideration.
Our 2020 rider of the year – Jonathan Rea
Say what you want about Jonathan Rea, you can say he’s ‘boring’ or ‘ruining World Superbikes’ but you cannot deny that this man is truly the Greatest ever Superbike rider in history, the GOAT of World Superbikes if you will, taking his 6th title in a row in 2020 which is a staggering achievement in itself, completely destroying the field these past few years following his Kawasaki move after riding the wheels off the Honda Fireblade for 6 seasons and performing incredibly well given the machinery he was given.
Year after year a new challenge gets thrown his way, whether it be Race 2 grid positions being backwards meaning if you won Race 1 you would start Race 2 from P9, rev limiter restrictions being applied to bikes overperforming or a new hotshot ex-MotoGP rider looking to take the title from him. He never seems to fail at overcoming these somewhat monumental hurdles in front of him and coming out on top year after year truly demonstrating the raw speed which he has even at 33 years old when there are riders nearly a decade younger than him looking to take his crown away.
2020 was no exception to this rule with the arrival of Scott Redding who was out for blood. Following a year off from World Championship racing spending his time in BSB taking the title as a class rookie, Redding would join the World Superbikes paddock with bags of confidence on a bike more than capable of winning races, proven by Alvaro Bautista in 2019 who won the first 10 races of the season whilst a consistent Rea took 10 x P2’s. Redding knew he was fast and more importantly, he knew the factory Ducati V4 package was fast which was proven by him taking 6 podiums in the first 6 races of the season including two race wins and leading the championship with a healthy 24 point lead after Jerez.
For Rea losing the title was not an option, he had to win and take the crown, how dare Scott Redding join the class and perform the way he did as a rookie taking the title lead. Rea absolutely did not stand for this and fired one back to Redding in the next 6 races winning 5/6 races with a P3 in the race he did not win, putting in some outstanding performances to retake the championship lead and also put a gap in ahead of Scott Redding as there was no chance Rea was going to let Redding get away with the title like this.
He stepped up his training regime and worked harder than ever to put in solid, consistent race results and show his cards and let Redding know that you do not come into his territory like this. clawing back points round by round until the end. Redding did an unbelievable job this year and even took the title fight down to the very last race of the season at Estoril and really did force Rea to work harder than he has ever worked before to take this title but in the end Rea won once again with an outstanding year, once again overcoming a major obstacle and proving why he is the GOAT of that class. He is another level to the rest and this is why he is our rider of the year.
2020 Runner Up of the year – Izan Guevara
Izan Guevara is the best rider you have likely not heard of, he sent shockwaves through the Junior Moto3 World Championship in 2020 arriving into the class as a rookie and surpassing all expectations which people had about him, even outperforming his own expectations. He arrived into the class in 2020 as the 2019 European Talent Cup champion which is the main feeder class into the Junior World Championship and was able to win the 2020 Junior Moto3 World Championship in just his first attempt.
The Junior Moto3 World Championship is arguably even tougher than the World Championship and has been shown by a select few riders including Can Oncu and Xavier Artigas over the years. You see, in the JWC every rider is fighting for their career, it is a make or break championship with 90% of riders not making it into the World Championship and even retiring after a bad season here – it is brutal. You really have to be the best of the best to win here because if you don’t it could be the end of your racing career. The minimum age for the class is 14 which opens up an even bigger talent pool thus creating even more difficulty for riders to impress the World Championship teams enough to hire them.
16-year-old Izan Guevara is more than just a little bit special, he is the real deal and is unbelievably fast, it took him just three races in the class to take his first win and even said before the season that he expected to come into the class and aim for top 10 finishes with a podium or two yet instead he embarrassed everyone and won the title, stating that he felt incredibly comfortable with the bike and also with the Aspar team who were also the 2020 European Talent Cup champions and the Moto3 World Champions. This comfort gave him the additional confidence and belief he required to show everyone what he is capable of and once he took his first win in his fourth race he did not step off the podium for the rest of the season.
His first win at Jerez was followed by a P2 in Race 3 before going on a 4 race win streak, closing down Xavier Artigas and Pedro Acosta down in the championship standings to eventually lead the championship in the final round at Valencia following a race win in Race 1 coupled with the awful luck of a mechanical problem for Artigas. Two P3 finishes in the last two races were enough to seal the deal and he became the first rookie Junior Moto3 World Champion since Fabio Quartararo in 2013.
The title win for Guevara forced the Aspar team to rethink their plans and instead of running Guevara in the JWC again in 2021 they have moved him into the Moto3 World Championship as the JWC champion. He was our runner up for his incredible season and ability to adapt to a new class and machinery with the speed he did and take the title in one of the most competitive classes in racing. We look forward to seeing what he can do on the world stage in 2021.
Featured images – www.worldsbk.com
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