The countdown towards the start of the championship is now reaching its final stages, at least as far as Moto3 and Moto2 are concerned, and there are numerous aspects of interest. The smallest class as always is ready to produce its usual quota of heart-pounding races and uncertain finishes, in the search for the new master of the category, given the fact that the reigning champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta has moved into Moto2. There are many candidates to take his place, but surprises are always around the corner.
Even in an uncertain category such as Moto3, we can see the possible candidates for the win, at least before the lights go off. The first name on the list is Tony Arbolino, who after having fought for the title (until the final part of last season) is aiming at the top prize in 2020, thanks to his experience in this category and his solid link with the Snipers team, one of the cornerstones of the class.
Speaking of benchmarks, the Leopard Team, which for the coming season will have a competitive duo of Dennis Foggia and Jaume Masia: the two have in common great pace but they lack consistency, with the latter in particular often among the top positions but too impetuous. Will this be the right year for him?
Another fast rider but lacking in perseverance is Gabriel Rodrigo, who has remained in the Gresini team and who looked to be in great shape during the pre-season tests. The Argentinean will first have to come to terms with destiny, so that he can avoid any injuries, and then improve in race management: once he has done this, the title is within his reach.
THE POSSIBLE SURPRISES
Practically all the riders so far not mentioned could fall into this category, but let's try to proceed in order. The first possible wild card of the 2020 season is certainly Filip Salac, on paper the second rider in the Snipers team but very fast in Losail, enough to finish half-a-second ahead of his rivals in the tests. The Czech still has to demonstrate a lot (if not everything) after his first season in the world championship, but the expertise he demonstrated in this pre-season means he is worth keeping an eye on.
Those who have already proven their worth and can be an alternative to the favourites are Tatsuki Suzuki, in his fourth season in the ranks of the SIC58 team. The Japanese rider finished 2019 in crescendo, and is aiming for the title in 2020, before making the jump into Moto2. Another Japanese rider to watch is Ai Ogura, second in the tests and possible wild card, as well as John McPhee, a veteran of the category and Sergio Garcia, very quick in the Jerez tests.
Of course, even among the possible surprises we can find an Azzurro. The main name is that of Celestino Vietti, who lines up at the start of the season with greater maturity than in the past, combined with an innate speed that he has already shown in the past: the weak point of "Cele" is qualifying, and once he has sorted this out he will be in a position to think big.
AND THE OTHER AZZURRI?
It’s impossible to forget the veterans, and therefore Romano Fenati, Andrea Migno and Niccolò Antonelli. The former is still settling in at the Max Racing Team, and above all Husqvarna are becoming more confident, with their return to the category: the pre-season tests didn’t go particularly well for the rider from Ascoli, but we know that he is quickly able to move up the timesheets.
For their part, Migno and Antonelli seem to travel in parallel, in search of the decisive buzz to give new life to their career, and certainly the coming season might be the right moment. "Mig" has returned home to the Sky Racing Team VR46, which could lead to an improvement, maybe by repeating the Mugello victory obtained with the team run by Pablo Nieto.
"Nelli" instead has immediately had to deal with a shoulder problem, which ruled him out of the first appointment of the season, but there is still time to make up for it and the affinity with the team and bike could help him to return to the top positions, as in the first part of last season.
Finally, the two riders of the BOE Skull Rider team, Davide Pizzoli and Riccardo Rossi, who have an opportunity to gain experience, especially Pizzoli, with the possibility of obtaining some satisfaction and showing his potential on his most favourable tracks.