Seven new faces for 2013
The Moto GP 2013 season will be sporting seven new faces that will be fighting it out for Rookie of the year honours.
On-board prototype machinery the likes of Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Márquez, Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith will be clear favourites amongst the newcomers, although with an ever improving level in the CRT category, Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Bryan Staring, Paul Bird Motorsport’s Michael Laverty, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti and Came IodaRacing Project’s Lucas Pesek will also have a shot at shining.
Márquez is the clear favourite for the "Rookie of the Year" award, as he starts on factory machinery, and has already displayed his talents from the lower classes. Iannone has also been at the sharp end of things for the last four years, yet will arguably face his biggest challenge as he steps on the notoriously difficult Ducati.
After a difficult campaign on board the Tech 3 in-house built Mistral 610 Bradley Smith has stepped up to MotoGP and the Brit has already proven himself a contender with some exceptional performances during testing.
From the rookies aboard the CRTs, and it was Laverty who impressed the most on his first go in MotoGP, putting in a great performance on the team’s ART machine. With a background predominantly in British Superbikes, many had expected Laverty to take his time to adapt not only to a new track, but also the Bridgestone tyres and carbon brakes but his experience saw him adapt easily.
Multiple national Australian Champion in the 125cc, Supersport and Superbike categories Staring, kicks off his MotoGP career on the FTR-Honda, which is the only one of its type on the grid, but the Australian is optimistic, despite ending the Sepang test in last place.
Italian Corti, last year showed glimpses of what he can do in Moto2 but will have his work cut out with the team’s new FTR-Kawasaki machine. The 2005 European Superstock 600 Champion had a tricky test in Sepang, with the team just looking to gather data to get the bike set up. Yet with the experience of veteran Colin Edwards by his side and a package that has proved promising for other teams, Corti might prove a handful for the established CRT front-runners.
The final contender is Czech rider Pesek from the old 125cc and 250cc classes. For this year he has made his way back into the World Championship, and for the first time steps up to the premier-class on board the powerful BMW-Suter combination. Gauging his level was difficult in the first test, as he had to share an ECU with teammate Danilo Petrucci, Pesek will no doubt be out to prove his worth at the second test.