Marco Bezzecchi goes into the 2021 Moto2 season as one of the main title favorites along with Sam Lowes, after a strong 2020 campaign that saw the Italian claim three wins and finish fourth in the championship standings.
Bezzecchi took the title fight along with his teammate Luca Marini down to the wire in Portimao, but it was fellow Italian Enea Bastianini who come out victorious.
The Sky VR46 man showed flashes of his potential as a rookie in 2019 and made a huge jump forward in his second season to not only challenge for the title, but at one stage become the title favorite.
Bezzechi had the opportunity to take over the championship lead while leading the Teruel Grand Prix but crashed from the lead on the penultimate lap to hand victory to Lowes.
The young Italian could not recover the points deficit with only three rounds remaining. Going into this season, Bezzecchi will be a firm title favorite again, but things could have been very different for Bezzecchi who rejected an offer to join Aprilia in MotoGP.
Speaking at the SKY VR46 team launch, Bezzechi was asked about his decision to stay in Moto2 and not sign with Aprilia. “The offer from MotoGP, let’s say it does not happen often that somebody refuses an offer from MotoGP, but it came very far in the season, and I had already made my mind up on the plans I wanted to reach in 2021.” said Bezzecchi.
“I wanted to stay within this team and really compete for the championship. When this offer came it was a really nice moment for me as I did not expect that. But I needed to try and think in-depth about my future, and I hope to do very well this season so that other doors may open for me next year.
“Of course, Aprilia would have been very cool as it is an Italian brand and Italian bike. It would have been a chance to develop a fresh bike let’s say and to have a bike to my liking. But at the same time, I needed to be reasonable and to work better in order to open more doors for myself.”
Bezzecchi was not the only rider in Moto2 to reject a contract offer from Aprilia, as both Fabio Di Giannatonio and American Joe Roberts were rumored to have been offered a contract as well.
Aprilia having struggled a lot to develop a bike capable of competing at the sharp end of the MotoGP grid, and with many young riders spurning the opportunity to join the team, Aprilia will once again go forward with Aleix Espargaro, Lorenzo Savadori and Bradley Smith for 2021.
Looking ahead to this season in Moto2, Bezzecchi was asked if he sees himself as a title favorite and who will be his main challengers.
“It is always difficult to say one single name even before the beginning of the season, but for sure Lowes is very strong and also last season he showed how fast he was.” said the 22 year-old.
“But I think that in Moto2 many riders are strong and that can fight for the win and title. I hope to be one of them, but for the moment I want to wait for the first test and concentrate on myself.”