Moto2: 2022 rookie profile – Gabriel Rodrigo
Moto3 veteran Gabriel Rodrigo moves to Moto2 after seven full seasons in the lightweight class.
Moto2 has obtained two riders this year which many didn’t think would make the step up into the intermediate class after spending so much time in Moto3, one of these riders is Gabriel Rodrigo. At 25-years-old Rodrigo was one of the oldest riders on the Moto3 grid and didn’t exactly have a glittering record to back this up with only two podiums in seven years in the class, nonetheless after 116 lightweight starts the rider has graduated to Moto2 for the 2022 season with the SAG Moto2 team alongside Bo Bendsneyder.
In 2021 at Catalunya Rodrigo took his first podium since Catalunya 2018.
Often thought to be more talented than his results showed, Rodrigo has some sort of all or nothing approach to racing, riding around with an iron fist cranking open the throttle from 0 to 100 and crashing out of races due to immense high sides, you’d have thought that these crashes would’ve taught him a thing or two about being more gentle when riding but this wasn’t the case. Regardless of this, his talent often shone through and he was a consistent feature in parc ferme after qualifying, often setting a time fast enough to start on the front row of the grid with 6 pole positions to back this up.
The move to Moto2 for Rodrigo is a positive one despite his Moto3 results, as crazy as it may seem, more power may suit the Barcelona born Argentine rider as it will teach him a thing or two about throttle control and how to manage power, especially now he has more of it with minimal technical aid including no traction control or anti-wheelie, forcing him to feather the throttle as much as he can on the exit of corners which is where most high sides occur.
Rodrigo raced for the Gresini squad for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 seasons.
In Moto3 Rodrigo proved to be a consistent top 10 finisher after scoring zero points in his debut season back in 2015, he made steps forward each season with a best year of 2018 when he finished in P7 overall with 116 points to his name.
Rodrigo has always had that special spark about him and has shown on many occasions he has what it takes to fight for victories, however his taste for the gravel trap has been the straw that breaks the camels back.
2022 will be a new adventure for the rider and there’s no doubt he will give his all.
Featured images – Dorna