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ENEA BAS­TIAN­INI He was Danny Kent’s strong­est chal­lenger for much of 2015, which in­cluded a de­but win in Misano. Faded out of con­tention but is many peo­ple’s hot tip for glory.

NIC­COLO AN­TONELLI Once a se­rial crasher, 2015 was the year the Ital­ian fi­nally de­liv­ered on his po­ten­tial. A ca­reer first win in Brno was fol­lowed up with an­other vic­tory in Ja­pan. Two other podi­ums and six top-six fin­ishes mean he’s def­i­nite ti­tle ma­te­rial.

JORGE NAVARRO Don’t be sur­prised to see him break his vic­tory duck very soon af­ter a storm­ing fin­ish to 2015. He took five podi­ums in the last five races of the sea­son, and is a se­ri­ous con­tender for 2016 glory.


RO­MANO FENATI 2016 is the year Fenati has to fight for the ti­tle. De­spite a Le Mans win and 10 other top-six fin­ishes, last sea­son still felt like a year of un­der achieve­ment. Team owner Rossi has made it clear what he ex­pects, so the pres­sure is on.

BRAD BINDER Plenty of in­sid­ers think the South African is KTM’S best hope of cap­tur­ing their first Moto3 crown since 2013 af­ter tak­ing four podi­ums last sea­son. In­ter­est­ing to see how he copes with the pres­sure and at­ten­tion of be­ing Red Bull Ajo’s num­ber one rider.

FABIO QUARTARARO Jus­ti­fied the mega hype around him at start of 2015 with se­cond place fin­ishes in Austin and Assen. A bro­ken an­kle in Misano wrecked his year and he now has the spot­light on him again af­ter quit­ting Honda to join KTM with Leop­ard Rac­ing.

He added: “It is a lot eas­ier to ride. On the Speed Up, when the track has got good grip and you’ve got the right con­di­tions, the bike is very good. But when you’ve got five ses­sions a week­end over 18 races it maybe hap­pens 10 times. I can run wide in a cor­ner now. With the Speed Up if I ran wide on en­try the cor­ner was done. On this bike I can make more lines be­cause you can turn the bike in a lot eas­ier way. If you run a bit wide you can just square the cor­ner off and that is such a big ad­van­tage when you are bat­tling. That’s mas­sive.”

Lovers of Lowes’ loose and wild rid­ing style though need not fear. The Kalex can still be rid­den fast us­ing his spec­tac­u­lar slid­ing tech­nique and he said: “I can ride my nor­mal style but be more in con­trol with this bike. I might not be quite as loose as last year but I’ll still be mov­ing around more than any­one else. But that’s my rid­ing style. That’s how I find I can get the most out of th­ese bikes and th­ese tyres. I use back­ing it in as a brake.”

Lowes is also in the lux­u­ri­ous po­si­tion of hav­ing his fu­ture sorted with Aprilia’s Mo­togp pro­ject for the next two years and is due to test the RSGP in June. He said: “I be­lieve in Aprilia. I think the pro­ject is great and any­one putting that much ef­fort in dur­ing hard times like th­ese is def­i­nitely worth be­ing on board with. And if I go to Aprilia and beat my team-mate and do bet­ter than peo­ple ex­pect, who­ever that maybe, it will open doors. My dream now is to win this cham­pi­onship and that’s what I’ve got my heart set on.”

Most pun­dits and fans are pre­dict­ing a ti­tanic three-way tus­sle for the Moto2 crown be­tween Sam Lowes, reign­ing cham­pion Jo­hann Zarco and highly rated Spa­niard Alex Rins. Here’s what they all think of each other...


“I think Zarco is the clear can­di­date for the ti­tle again. He was in­cred­i­bly fast last year with very few mis­takes and I don’t think that will change. Sam is a re­ally good rider and last year ev­ery­body knew that the Kalex was more con­sis­tent than the Speed Up and with the Kalex he can do big things and we will need to be care­ful of him.”

Rock­star Lowes is ready to re­ally shake things up in Moto2

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