In the dog-eat-dog world of MotoGP™, it’s make-or-break time for these three riders as they enter their second seasons
After we saw no fewer than five riders step up to MotoGP™ in 2022, we’ll only have Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) stepping up to the premier class this season with the Moto2™ crown tucked tightly under his arm. Therefore, many eyes will be on the performance of the three rookies from last year that still remain: Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) and Raul Fernandez (Cryptodata Aprilia RNF MotoGP™ Team).
LAST YEAR’S ROOKIE OF THE YEAR GOES AGAIN
One of the riders set to surprise in 2023 is Marco Bezzecchi. After establishing himself as Rookie of the Year last season, beating his four rivals to the prestigious crown in relative comfort, the Italian will be looking to take another step forwards aboard Pecco Bagnaia’s title-winning GP22. A debut podium at Assen was, without a doubt, his standout moment, but consistency at the end of the year, claiming fourth in Australia and Malaysia, will be seen as a great springboard ahead of his second year. The roadmap is clear for Bezz: in a recent interview with moto.it, the Italian claimed he’s set on “constantly being in the top 5 or 6”.
Bezzecchi seals ROTY title: “I made overtakes like Lorenzo!”
Fabio Di Giannantonio is facing a make-or-break year. After struggling to match the performances of fellow rookie and compatriot Bezzecchi on their GP21s last year, he’s made some crucial changes to his close-knit team in order to inspire a change in fortunes. There were a handful of moments that show the Gresini man has the ability to match it with the best, none more so than at his home Grand Prix in Mugello where he claimed an emotional pole position.
But as the Italian himself admitted at their team launch in January, where he outlined the clear intention of “I want a lot more than last year”, 2023 is a huge year. He’ll be hoping 2020 World Championship winning crew chief Frankie Carchedi is the man to help give Diggia the platform to go out and succeed.
“I want much more than last year” – Di Giannantonio
Touted as the next big thing in 2021 after smashing Moto2™ records held by Marc Marquez, Raul Fernandez failed to grab any headlines last season. Never gelling with the KTM RC16, and rumoured to neither have gelled with the Austrian factory full stop, the Spaniard is hoping he’ll have a new lease of life now with Aprilia. Much faith has been placed in him by the Noale hierarchy and they’ll be hoping that faith can be repaid throughout the upcoming season.