Vietti, Fernandez and Ogura couldn’t be much closer heading into the summer break
Heading into the 2022 summer break, the Moto2™ World Championship title fight couldn’t be closer. Three riders are split by one point with nine races to go, so motogp.com have a look at who the main contenders are and who could still have a say in where the trophy lands at the end of the season.
Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team – 1st, 146 points):
Victory in Qatar’s season opener for Vietti was followed by a second place in Indonesia, before the Italian racked up his second win of the season in Argentina to take 70 points from a possible 75 to start the season. However, a DNF in Austin dampened Vietti’s classy opening stint of 2022, and it’s not been an easy ride since for the World Championship leader.
Just two podiums – P2 in Portugal and P1 in Barcelona – have followed in the lead up to the summer break, but Vietti still leads the title chase, albeit level on points with Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo).
Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo – 2nd, 146 points):
Three wins in the last five races have elevated Fernandez to second in the Championship, level on points with Vietti. The French GP victory was the turning point in the Spaniard’s season after suffering two DNFs and no podiums in the opening six races, seeing him trail Vietti by 56 points after the Spanish GP.
A P3 at the Catalan GP and P5 in Italy have been Fernandez’s results alongside those three victories since the dominant Le Mans win. The latest of those came at the Dutch TT, where we saw Fernandez come from ninth on the grid to win a fascinating battle. With Vietti missing out on a rostrum in P4, that win was enough to see Fernandez draw level with the Italian heading into the summer break.
Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia – 3rd, 145 points):
Consistency is key. And that’s something Ogura has had in his locker this season. That’s why the Japanese star is just one point off the title lead despite having two less victories to his name than both Vietti and Fernandez.
In the first 11 races of the campaign, Ogura’s worst result across the line has been P8 in Germany. He fell foul of the dramatic incident in Portimao, but that’s been the only DNF of Ogura’s season so far – and it’s been a year that has seen Ogura take his first victory, and add a further four podiums to his name. His recovery ride to P2 in Assen was sublime too.
Other riders to watch closely:
The first name, naturally, is fourth place Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40). The Spaniard is 30 points adrift of Vietti and Fernandez but has been a consistent threat all year, notching up four P2s and a P3 in Indonesia. Canet was forced to miss the Dutch TT through injury, but sitting just 30 points down means Canet is still well in the title hunt.
The likes of Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) and Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing) – fifth and sixth in the overall standings – have won races this year. It’s a huge mountain to climb for both to come from over 40 points down, but it’s by no means a done deal for them.
Reigning Moto3™ World Champion Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had just won his first race and backed that up with a second podium of the season in Germany before a training crash saw the Spaniard fracture his femur. Hopefully Acosta will be fit to race at Silverstone after the summer break, and if he’s not a realistic title contender as things stand, Acosta can certainly have a serious say in the Championship chase.
The Moto2™ Championship fight reignites at the British GP.
Moto2™ race recap: Fernandez wins race of the year contender