Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati, links) and the future world champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) during the Marseillaise, their national anthem after the second race of the season in Losail. Surprisingly for many, the man from Cannes then traveled on to Portugal as World Championship leader. At the end of the season, however, the younger of the two, who comes from Nice, was at the top and celebrated his first world title in MotoGP.

Can the world champion defend his title for Yamaha?

A year ago, most of the supposed experts spoke after the Losail tests of Jack Miller as the big favorite for the year 2021. However, anyone who had read our preview in the winter before the start of the season was at least skeptical about its consistency. It should promptly become apparent in lap 3 that our assessment was not made out of thin air. After two disappointing ninth places in Qatar, the Australian was the first pilot to find himself in the gravel trap shortly after the start. He did not see the checkered flag three times later in the course of the rest of the season and therefore, despite two race wins, he was only fourth in the World Championship, while his Ducati team-mate Bagnaia fought for the title until shortly before the end. He was also at the top of the podium several times, but after a fall at the home race in Mugello, he was eliminated from the second run in Misano. Defending champion Joan Mir remained without a win and, thanks to his consistency, slipped between the two factory Ducatis in the final accounts. But for the coming season the question of all questions arises: Who can beat Fabio Quartararo in 2022?

Marc Marquez with his Repsol Honda in the gravel bed of Montmeló – at his Catalan home Grand Prix, the 2019 world champion had to complain about his third retirement in a row. If he wants to have a say about the title again, he has to be more constant and fall less. With three wins this season, he proved that he still has the speed to win.

The most dangerous opponents of the French in the title fight

Along with Marc Marquez, of course, “Pecco” Bagnaia and Joan Mir are among the most promising contenders for the crown of the premier class. Like last season, the two Ducati aces Jack Miller and Jorge Martin are among the most dangerous challengers to the Monster Energy Yamaha rider. But you shouldn’t underestimate Johann Zarco, and Frankie Morbidelli shouldn’t be ignored either. Many others, like Marquez and his brother Alex, have some question marks. In contrast to Brad Binder, nobody asks his younger brother to be promoted straight away from Moto3. This also applies to the other rookies Remy Gardner, Raul Fernandez (both Tech 3 KTM), Fabio di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing) and his Italian compatriot Marco Bezzecchi (VR46 Racing Team). Andrea Dovizioso is the person who, apart from himself, has hardly anyone on their toes for the coming season. Like Zarco, however, the man from Forlimpopoli near Misano should not be written off too early. This also applies to Pol Espargaró, Takaaki Nakagami and Alex Rins. Like “Dovi”, the latter was one of the few pilots who were able to defeat Marc Marquez in top form.

Jack Miller is Australia’s hope in the fight for the world championship – but the Ducati Lenovo rider has so far shown too little constancy in MotoGP to seriously have a say about the title. As team-mate “Pecco” Bagnaia impressively demonstrated in 2021, there is definitely no lack of material for this. Two falls in his home race were the main reason that the Italian was “only” enough for the runner-up in the world championship in the end.

Will KTM make the way out of third class?

In terms of their performance, the oranges in particular were the biggest problem children in MotoGP last season. With Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales, in contrast to the often too arrogant Austrians, at Aprilia, they can be quite confident for 2022. A statement by Pit Beirer at the beginning of January 2021 proves how wrong the KTM executives themselves regularly assess their own potential back then. Incidentally, the same portal claimed a day before the official cancellation of the Sepang test by Dorna that it would take place as planned thanks to a special right for the MotoGP convoy. In any case, it is certain that ignorance and arrogance in racing rarely lead to the goal. That is why KTM should have a rocky road ahead of them in the coming racing year. The former KTM rider Johann Zarco, who was publicly denounced several times by the owner of the Austrian brand in 2019, was classified 22 points ahead of Brad Binder’s best KTM, just to make a note of this. Incidentally, Mr. Pierer has never publicly apologized for his verbal and sporting derailments from 2 years ago.

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) in one of his falls since his impressive entry into MotoGP – the fast South African and winner of the Austrian GP in 2021 is nevertheless the oranges’ greatest hope in the battle for podium places in the premier class. His team-mate Miguel Oliveira, on the other hand, barely made it into the top 15 of the final, despite a win in Catalonia, while Binder was sixth in the World Cup, ahead of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda).

World Championship final of the 2021 season

The provisional calendar for 2022

After the bad planning by FIM and Dorna for the second Corona season in the previous year, those responsible remained true to themselves again. In turn, they planned happily as if there had never been a pandemic. After Qatar, there will be three overseas events with Indonesia, Argentina and the USA before Portimão is set to start in Europe. Currently, Portugal is still classified as a high-risk area despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in Europe. Greetings from Singapore, see our review of the 2021 season. Many observers consider the test dates on February 5th in Sepang (Malaysia) and only 6 days later on the new Mandalika Circuit on the island of Lombok in Indonesia to be the culmination of ignorance. Behind the scenes we heard, among other things, the word idiocy, which concerns the again extremely risky season planning of the FIM and Dorna.

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