Therefore, it’s hard to believe that in 2022 there are no full-time British riders on the MotoGP grid; race winner Cal Crutchlow being the most recent in 2020. Let’s have a deep dive into what the future holds for British motorcycling.
It goes without saying that there is a wealth of British motorcycling talent at present. Moto2 for example, currently has two riders competing in its World Championship: Jake Dixon and Sam Lowes. Although both riders have shown front-running pace, Sam Lowes even had a brief stint racing in the premier class, they are yet to prove that they can mix it with the top riders in MotoGP yet. We can draw a similar conclusion in Moto3, where 4 British riders currently compete, and 6 in WSBK.
So, what can be done? In 2018, the Honda British Talent Cup was established to help young riders predominantly from the British Isles aged 13-17. This has already seen some success, with graduates like Scott Ogden and Joshua Whatley who have now made it into Moto3. Hopefully there will be more to come in the future!
A suggestion from Sam Lowes is that we need more British riders in Europe, as this is where much of the competition lies. Funding is essential, and if a British corporate sponsor could help subsidize the costs of going racing, this will likely increase the talent pool of young British riders.
A rider that could be in MotoGP in the near future is Jake Dixon. He’s shown great form in Moto2 this year by scoring many podium finishes. This combined with the fact that he has competed as a wildcard in numerous races last year on a Satellite Yamaha means he now has experience. However he will need to come back strong in the second half of the season if he wants a coveted MotoGP seat in 2023.
I believe Scott Ogden might also be Britain’s next hope. As far as statistics go, he dominated the Honda British Talent cup in 2019, was a race winner in the ultra-competitive CEV Moto3 Junior Championship, and has shown on multiple occasions that he is a consistent points scorer in Moto3. He’s had a bit of a slow start to this season, but you have to remember that he is a rookie in Moto3 and obviously needs time to find his feet. Not to mention that the team he is racing for are also new to the championship as well.
Rory Skinner is another rider to look out for. At 20 years old, he has already shown traits that make him stand out as a future superstar. This includes his strong mentality – when he has a bad race or race weekend – he always bounces back on better form. As well as this, he rarely crashes. Not only is this important as far as consistency is concerned, but it also means teams will be less worried about paying for crash damage. Skinner also has a brilliant track record as he won the British Supersport Championship in 2020 (the youngest to do so), and he is also a bike mechanic: so should have the technical know-how to communicate effectively with his race engineers on what setup changes are needed on the bike.
Despite the fact that there is no British rider in MotoGP, hope is not lost, and there is plenty of exciting young talent coming through the ranks. With the Honda British Talent Cup now well established, and there being multiple British riders in both Moto2 and Moto3, it is only a matter of time before Britain has someone to cheer for again.
Who do you think will be Britain’s next MotoGP superstar?