Has MotoGP lost its most bizarre team? Every driver was rated

The end of the MotoGP season in 2021 triggered the departure of one of the modern star winners when Avintia Racing retired and left the premier class after 10 years.

For this decade, Avintia has had a somewhat eclectic history of motorcycles and results, with regular lows that make the occasional highs even cuter.

There was also a really mixed group of riders during this period, from former world champions who were able to bring their bikes to the podium, to those who may be less suitable for MotoGP and probably more because of their financial means than their driving skills Can there be.

After the team was fully taken over by the burgeoning VR46 project after a year of garage together, we took the opportunity to look back at all of the names that have stood for Avintia since it moved up from the Moto2 and 125cc classes in 2012 .

19 Kris McLaren


McLaren was named Avintia’s shortest driver in 2012 to replace injured Yonny Hernandez at Phillip Island.

However, since he had no MotoGP experience and jumped on a pathetically unrivaled BQR Kawasaki CRT-Spec motorcycle, he never got within two seconds of team-mate Ivan Silva and finished qualifying almost seven seconds ahead of pole man Casery Stoner – way outside the 107% mark to qualify for the race.

18 Christophe Ponsson


It’s not often that a rider’s performance can force MotoGP management to intervene, but that’s exactly what happened when Frenchman Christophe Ponsson replaced Tito Rabat at Misano in 2018.

Much like McLaren (albeit on a vastly improved bike), Ponsson struggled through qualifying to finish five and a half seconds off pole – fast enough to drive but not fast enough to save him from laps in the race itself.

His fellow riders weren’t too happy with the speed difference either, raised the issue with the safety commission and made sure MotoGP insisted Avintia bring another replacement rider for the remainder of the season.

17 Xavi Fores


A superbike racer for much of his career, Fores was drafted to replace Loris Baz at Misano in 2016 and fared little better than a number of others who got one-off shots with the squad.

He didn’t do a bad job in qualifying to finish half a second behind the penultimate driver and was even ahead of future Avintia driver Tito Rabat when he retired.

16 Xavier Simeon


When he joined the team as a rookie in 2018, Simeon wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire.

Previously a Moto2 rider in midfield, but supported by the strong support of his Belgian homeland, Simeon replaced Loris Baz, but could not keep up with the Frenchman’s performances and only picked up a single point from his 18 races before going through for the following season Karel Abraham was replaced.

15 Michele Pirro

Michele Pirro Avintia Ducati MotoGP

Ducati’s test rider and super sub-Michele Pirro made two Avintia appearances, both in 2016 as part of a rather hectic year for him, in which the Italian replaced riders in the works team, at Pramac and Avintia, as well as his usual two wild cards .

The Catalunya and Assen races to replace Baz were his two worst results of his nine races that year, earning the pair just one point.

14 David Solom


Former World Supersport front runner David Salom only competed twice for Avintia right at the start of his MotoGP project, and in 2012, in the first year of the CRT machines, stepped in for full-time rider Silva.

At the Grands Prix of San Marino and Aragon he scored a single point in his only two appearances – not that bad at all, considering that Silva only scored 12 of his 16 races.

13 Jordi Torres


Another replacement driver, Torres, was signed to replace another sub who represented Ponsson after the controversy surrounding his debut appearance.

Given Rabat’s severe injuries from his terrible fall at Silverstone, it was also a long-term appointment as the Spaniard Torres was allowed to drive the last six races of 2018.

He only managed to secure a single point in those six races (and failed to start one in Malaysia after suffering his own injury). , that is perhaps a reflection of how competitive the premier league has become over Avintia’s tenure there.

12 Ivan Silva


Avintia’s first MotoGP rider, alongside Yonny Hernandez in 2012, Silva was a former test rider who was very much brought on board to develop the team’s then brand new CRT machine.

He was a recurring MotoGP racer who had eight Grand Prix starts from 1998 to 2007 when he signed up for their project.

11 Karel Abraham


For a period in Avintia’s history, it was the last remaining team on the MotoGP grid to take cash from the riders in exchange for a seat – and Abraham was one of them who, after a failed move in World Superbike and a return to the team came in the MotoGP with Aspar, which delivered average results.

But things didn’t get much better for the Andorran team, with only nine points from 19 races to show for their efforts – and a painful separation after Avintia’s signing of Johann Zarco, although Abraham was already in the books for 2020 …

10 Mike’s best


Mike Di Meglio joined the team in 2014 as a series rookie and on his CRT-specified machine and didn’t have an easy debut season, and his results reflect that, with just three points in a year that was at least consistent in terms of race results.

His second season, this time on a Ducati, was no better, took one point down and ended up in the same position.

9 Mike Jones


Of all of the many Avintia submarines on the list, Mike Jones may be the one who delivered the biggest surprise, especially given that he was scheduled to meet at the last minute for the ride.

As an Australian Ducati Superbike racer, he was given just hours in advance to travel to Motegi in 2016 to replace Hector Barbera after the Spaniard was sorted into the works team to replace Jorge Lorenzo.

Despite the late arrival, the Aussie Jones impressed, narrowly missing the points in Japan before coming home 15th in his home race at Phillip Island a week later.

In fact, Ducati was so impressed with him that in 2018 he received another invitation to race for Aspar Ducati on the same track this time, as Alvaro Bautista joined the factory team.

8 Hiroshi Aoyama


Former 250cc world champion Aoyama came to Avintia in 2012 and joined the team for the final race of the year after finishing his World Superbike season and immediately having his name on the board with 13th place in Valencia.

Remaining for 2013, he was on the edge of the points on a cobbled together bike for most of the year.

7 Yonny Hernandez


Colombian racing driver Yonny Hernandez was the very first Avintia MotoGP rider to join the team to step up his Moto2 efforts for the 2012 rookie season.

He also did a solid job, ending up in the midst of the new CRT entry-level drivers, a far cry from eventual top driver Aleix Espargaro but ahead of future race winner Danilo Petrucci on the Ioda machine.

6 Loris Baz


Baz joined Avintia in 2016 after a hugely successful rookie season on the Forward Yamaha, a bike that turned out to be surprisingly potential as it started as a cobbled-together machine and essentially ended the year as a satellite Yamaha M1.

However, given his stature, the Ducati’s extra power would suit him better and better and despite a number of injuries during the year, he quickly achieved his best result on the bike with an impressive fourth place in Brno, which was the closest the team had so far on the podium.

His second season with them started just as well, but with rumors of political interference combined with a poor second half of the season, he didn’t get another chance with them and was back in the World Superbike paddock in 2018.

5 Javier del Amor


Perhaps the biggest unknown of all drivers on this somewhat niche list, del Amor was a journeyman for the Spanish championship who happened to be on the Circuit Barcelona with his leather when Aoyama broke a finger in training in 2013.

As a friend of team owner Raul Romero, he was parachuted for FP4 – and miraculously managed not only to qualify, but also to finish the race 15th in the points!

4 Tito Rabat


Tito Rabat probably never had the chance he deserved in the Avintia Ducati, despite having served in the squad for three seasons. Rabat switched from a well-subpar Marc VDS Honda when that team collapsed in late 2017 and clicked the Ducati relatively quickly, and was consistently in the top 10 at the start of the season.

However, halfway through the season at Silverstone, everything went wrong when his leg was severely mutilated in an unrelated fall, solely due to track conditions that ultimately led to the race being the first without a race in 30 years Start canceled.

Although he never made a big deal of it even after that, those injuries influenced the rest of his MotoGP career and he never found the form he had enjoyed.

3 Hector Barbera


Hector Barbera probably did for Avintia what no one else could: He won them a kind of premier class title by winning the open class crown in a sovereign style in 2015.

In the final year of the two-class-in-one racing format, before CRT machines were added to the main lineup, Spaniard beat Jack Miller and Nicky Hayden for the honor of celebrating the culmination of five relatively competitive seasons with The Crew.

Aside from his class success, the result of 15th place in the main title, he established himself as a fairly regular top 10 finisher for most of the time on the team, especially after switching from the self-made FTR-framed, Kawasaki-powered CRT machines halfway through of the 2014 season to a basic specification from Ducati, a step that laid the foundation for the team’s next steps.

2 Enea Bastianini


When reigning Moto2 champion Enea Bastianini entered as a rookie in 2021, the old Avintia was very tired and dusted as a significant investment not only from Ducati but also from new partners VR46 had transformed the team from something chaotic to a much more professional facility .

Bastianini was able to prove his potential and lead his two-year-old Desmosedici to an extraordinary podium in his debut season. Avintia may be leaving for next season, but the Italian has made sure the team gets a high rating despite the ups and downs of MotoGP time.

1 Johann Zarco


The irony of having Zarco top this list is that when he was first associated with the team, he made his thoughts on it pretty clear – with Zarco giving up the roster as under him before eating his words had to when it became clear that no other options were possible after his dramatic departure from KTM on the table.

It turned out to be arguably the best decision of his career, however, as he negotiated healthy levels of Ducati support to bolster the squad – and immediately repaid his support with an impressive 2020 season.

Zarco qualified on pole position and took a podium in only his third race for Avintia in Brno, and finally a 13th place in the championship, which was also made possible by a series of top 10 results, made for an all-round excellent Season.