In the middle of the summer break, let’s take a look at the main protagonists of this 2022 season in the intermediate category
The summer break has arrived for the Moto2™ World Championship riders. With a well-deserved few weeks off before returning to the Silverstone track, motogp.com takes a look at the highlights from the first half of the 2022 campaign. prove their level, others will fight in the biggest battle of the season; the world title.
With 225 points still up for grabs, the list of contenders for the crown has narrowed considerably after 11 races, although nothing has been done. Among the main candidates for the coronation, we find:
Celestino Vietti (1st, 146 points)
The Italian rider of the Mooney VR46 Racing Team started the 2022 season with a very clear goal: to get his first podium in the intermediate category. Precisely, after a year in 2021 where he gained strength, Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) arrived in Qatar eager to continue his progress and present himself as a candidate for the title, and this was the case.
At the international circuit of Lusail, the Transalpine took the win, followed by a second place in Indonesia and another success in Argentina. Those three back-to-back podiums suggested Valentino Rossi’s pupil was on the way, but a clean sheet in the United States was a reminder of just how demanding it is to compete in the intermediate category. From then on, the mountain began to get steeper and steeper for Celestino Vietti, who in the next seven GPs finished only twice on the podium and scored two new zeros.
Although he has failed to score three points this year, the stars have often aligned in the No. 13’s favor to allow him to go into the holidays with the status of leader, which he has held since the opening round.
Augusto Fernández (2nd – 146 points)
However, Celestino Vietti will not be calm during the summer break, because after the Motul TT Assen, the Italian now shares the lead with Augusto Fernández (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who has been steadily improving since the start of the season .
After falling short of the podium in the opening motos and some unfortunate incidents, the SHARK Grand Prix de France was a turning point for the Spaniard, who took victory. In the last five races, the Madrid native has entered the top three four times, including three victories. These solid performances allowed the No. 37 to reach mid-season with every chance of winning what would be his first world championship crown.
Ai Ogura (3rd, 145 points)
That’s not all! It’s not just a battle between Celestino Vietti and Augusto Fernández, as Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) is just one point behind the duo. Quietly and unfavoritely at the start of the year, the Japanese proved that there is no better ally than consistency.
With a single zero point, four podiums, a win and a pole position, the number 79 has become one of the most solid and promising protagonists in the category. It looks like the real fight for the crown will come down to these three, though we’ll have to stay tuned.
Other drivers to consider
A little lower in the ranking and with a tiny mathematical possibility of reaching the top 3, we find drivers like Arón Canet (Flexbox HP40), Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) and Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team). All of them are already more than one race away from the lead, but that won’t stop them from showing their best level and climbing up the standings to give us an exciting end to the season.
Other riders could also play a refereeing role, such as Albert Arenas (India GASGAS Aspar Team), who has shown in recent races that he has found his way on the Moto2™ machine, and debutant Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who, although absent in Assen due to a fractured left femur, already has a pole position, a victory and a second position to his credit. All this makes the Moto3™ World Champion the main contender for the title of Rookie of the Year.
He will have no problems to achieve this honorary distinction if other protagonists such as Alonso López (MB Conveyors SpeedUp) allow him to do so. The Spaniard, who started the season at Le Mans in place of Romano Fenati, made a remarkable debut, although he only showed a small part of his talent. Will he be able to get on the podium at the end of the season?