Making his MotoGP debut, SA’s Brad Binder will join a host of riders bidding to end the dominance of Marc Marquez. Picture: REUTERS
Making his MotoGP debut, SA’s Brad Binder will join a host of riders bidding to end the dominance of Marc Marquez. Picture: REUTERS

After being delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic the MotoGP season begins with back-to-back races at Spain’s Jerez circuit on July 19 and 26.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) is once again the big favourite to clinch the crown after six titles in seven years. With a career total of 56 victories and 95 podiums, in 2019 the Spaniard scored the most points in premier class history and finished outside the top two just once.

But 2020 could well be a game-changer, especially given the somewhat special circumstances that it will be held in. With such a condensed calendar, one mistake could prove pivotal meaning the main contenders to Marquez’s throne will fancy their chances.

A potential challenger could be Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT). The 21-year-old Frenchman was last season’s Rookie of the Year and this year has a full factory machine at his disposal.

Other riders determined to make Marquez fail is his younger brother and Repsol Honda team mate Alex, who makes his MotoGP debut this season. Also in the hunt is Maverick Viñales on the factory Yamaha, and his 41-year-old superstar teammate Valentino Rossi who will bid to clinch that elusive tenth title.

South African hopes will be pinned on Brad Binder, the 2016 Moto3 champion and 2019 Moto2 runner-up, who this year makes his debut in the premier MotoGP class on KTM’s factory bike.

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