Franco Morbidelli

2017 FIM Moto2 Grand Prix World Champion

Born on 4 December 1994 in Rome, Italy

FRANKIE CAN RELAX

Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) was crowned the 2017 FIM Moto2 World Champion with a race to spare after taking eight wins, six poles and eleven podiums to become the first Italian champion in the intermediate class since Marco Simoncelli in 2008. Morbidelli arrived in Moto2 from national and European STK600 racing with three appearances in 2013 that gained him a full-time ride for the following year. Some top ten results in the latter half of that season laid the foundations for 2015, when he scored top six results in the opening five rounds and a debut podium at Indianapolis.

Morbidelli showed his championship potential in 2016, recovering from a slow start to score eight podiums from the last eleven races, but nobody could have predicted the form he showed at the start of this campaign. Off to a flying start with a faultless win from pole in Qatar, Morbidelli scored three further wins from the next four races to establish a lead he would not relinquish. Victories at Assen and Sachsenring further cemented his position, before he crashed out of the lead at Misano. Next time out at MotorLand Aragon, the VR46 academy prospect took on compatriot Mattia Pasini (Kalex) in a stunning duel, and put everything on the line for his eighth win of the year.

'Frankie' arrived for the penultimate round at Sepang with a 29-point advantage and following a dramatic qualifying session that saw key rival Thomas Lüthi (Kalex) ruled out of action after suffering a fracture in his foot, Morbidelli’s advantage at the top was enough to declare him the champion.

PALMARES
Word title - 2017

Jason Doyle

2017 FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Champion

Born on 6 October 1985 in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

DOYLE'S DATE WITH DESTINY

A little over twelve months ago, Jason Doyle was lying in a hospital bed watching the final round of the 2016 FIM World Speedway Championship in Melbourne. Having led the field for most of the series his hopes were dashed when a bone crushing crash in the penultimate round in Torun ended his title aspirations. Fast forward to October 2017 and the picture is very different. In front of his home supporters as well as his friends and family, the 32-year-old finally achieved his ambition and won the final round in Melbourne to take the title by a margin of 19 points.

Some doubted that Doyle would be capable of challenging again for the biggest prize in Speedway but the tough Australian silenced his critics with a strong performance in the opening round in Slovenia. After the third round he took the lead in the overall classification, which he never relinquished and set a new record by reaching the Final in ten out of the twelve Grand Prix rounds. It was this consistency through the season that gave him an edge over his fellow racers.

Even another injury in Torun, where he crashed whilst riding for his Polish League club and suffered a broken foot, could not disrupt his flow. Amazingly, with a plate in his foot and suffering great pain, he returned just six days later to score a remarkable 15 points in Denmark. Poland’s Patryk Dudek marked a remarkable debut season in the silver medalist position, whist two-time champion Tai Woffinden took third place after a late season surge.

PALMARES
World title – 2017

Andrea Verone

2017 FIM Youth Enduro World Champion

Born on 22 April 1999 in Thiene, Italy

THE BEST OF VERONA

Andrea Verona (TM) was deservedly crowned as the FIM Youth Enduro World Champion in 2017 after putting together a sensational run of nine unbeaten days in the 125cc category. Verona started the season with what proved to be a solid sixth place in an opening round in Finland that was dominated by local riders, with Hugo Svärd and Hermanni Haljala (Husqvarna) taking the wins, joined on the podium by compatriots Antti Ahtila (KTM), Roni Kytönen (Husqvarna) and Sweden's Emil Jonsson (KTM).

With only Svärd contesting the remainder of the season on a regular basis, Leo Le Quere (TM) and Ruy Barbosa (Husqvarna) emerged as the most consistent rivals to Verona, the Frenchman and the Chilean taking a second place apiece behind the Italian as he kicked off his winning streak at the second round in Puerto Lumbreras, Spain.

The trio were virtually ever-presents on the podium throughout the rest of the championship, however, neither could match the sheer speed of Verona and the 18-year-old got his first opportunity to wrap up the title at round six in Castelo Branco, Portugal. After taking his ninth consecutive victory on the opening day by some two minutes over Le Quere, the youngster almost lost his grip on the title on day two when he crashed on a special stage, dropping to third place but recovering to take second behind his French rival and secure the championship with two rounds to spare.

PALMARES
World title - 2017

Josep Garcia

2017 FIM E2 Enduro World Champion

Born on 22 December 1996 in Súria, Spain

DEBUANT GARCIA CLAIMS E2 TITLE

Josep García (KTM) made his name as the next big star of Enduro in 2017, completing a dream first season at senior level as he stormed to the FIM E2 Enduro World Championship title. Despite being unable to ride for a month following a car accident prior to the opening round of the season in Finland, García's talent was obvious from the start as he finished his first ever senior class outing on the podium with a strong second place behind last year's FIM E1 World Champion Eero Remes (TM).

The 20-year-old battled for the remainder of the season with Remes and 2015 FIM Junior Enduro World Champion Jamie McCanney (Yamaha), who took his first win in Hungary, with the Spaniard and the Brit separated by just thirteen points going into the final round in Germany. A crash on Friday night’s Super Test put Garcia on the back foot but the young Spaniard held his composure to claim the runner-up position ahead of McCanney, securing the title with fifth place on the final day despite a fifth victory for his rival.

García was born into a family of bikers – his father and uncle both raced competitively – and he began racing motocross and enduro at the age of seven, going on to compete in Catalan and national championships before making his debut in the MX World Championship. Having raced in Metrakit 80cc championships in 2008, in 2011 the talented youngster again tried his hand at circuit racing, scoring several points finishes during a season in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup before successfully turning his attention back to the dirt.
 

PALMARES
World title - 2017

Bradley Freeman

2017 FIM Junior Enduro World Champion

Born on 5 July 1996 in Great Britain

FREEMAN TAKES JUNIOR CROWN

Brad Freeman (Beta) emerged victorious from one of the closest title battles in the Enduro discipline in 2017 as he claimed the FIM Junior Enduro World Championship by just four points from Davide Soreca (Honda). The British youngster missed the first round of the series in Helsinki, where Italy's Soreca finished second to local Finnish wildcard Eemil Pohjola (Husqvarna), but came roaring back to score maximum points at round two in Spain.

After that Soreca was only able to topple Freeman from the top of the podium on one further occasion, on day one of his home round in Spoleto, Italy, whilst Swedish pair Albin Elowson (Husqvarna) and Mikael Persson (Yamaha) also took a day win apiece, as Freeman dominated the remainder of the season and closed to within four points of the championship summit going into the final round in Zschopau, Germany.

With Soreca only managing third on the first day behind Elowson and the victorious Freeman, the battle went down to the very last special tests. However, just when it looked like Freeman had done enough to win, having opened up a healthy lead with just one lap remaining, a rear brake issue during the final enduro and extreme tests saw Soreca close to within five seconds with just the final motocross test remaining. Under extreme pressure, Freeman responded with the second outright fastest time, topping the special test, the day and with it the championship.

PALMARES
World title – 2017

 

Marc Garcia

2017 FIM Supersport 300 World Champion

Born on 1 November 1999 in Barcelona, Spain

GARCIA BECOMES FIRST EVER CHAMPION OF NEW CLASS  

Marc Garcia (Yamaha) made history in 2017 as the first ever winner of the new FIM Supersport 300 World Championship, taking the title by a single point from Alfonso Coppola (Yamaha) in a gripping final-round decider at Jerez. The new series was designed as an entry-level World Championship that would give new teams and riders from all corners of the globe the opportunity to make their mark on the international stage, and so it proved with the emergence of some exciting young talent and incredibly close racing all season.

Running alongside all European rounds of the FIM World Superbike Championship, the first WorldSSP300 race took place at Aragon in April, with the Netherlands' Scott Deroue (Kawasaki) taking an historic win. Deroue doubled up in his home round at Assen however podium consistency proved key to the title as groups of six or more riders regularly crossed the line within the same second. One such heart-stopping battle at Portimao was won by Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki), who became the first ever female to win an FIM World Championship Circuit Racing event after overcoming both Coppola and Garcia by less than a tenth of a second.

Garcia took his second win and fifth podium in the penultimate round at Magny Cours to set up a grand finale against Coppola, who trailed by four points. The title swung both ways throughout another race-long group skirmish, which wasn't decided until the final lap as Coppola crossed the line third, just 0.038 seconds behind race winner and Indonesian wildcard Galang Hendra (Yamaha), but with Garcia claiming the title just behind him in fourth.

PALMARES
World title - 2017

Joan Mir

2017 FIM Moto3 World Champion

Born on 1 September 1997 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain

JOAN IS THE MIR-ACLE MAN!

Joan Mir (Honda) became the first rider ever to score more than eight wins in a single FIM Moto3 World Championship season as he stormed to the title in dominant fashion. A former FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Championship rider in 2015, when he gave a sign of his great promise by standing on the podium at each of the races he finished, Mir was crowned Rookie of the Year at Grand Prix level in 2016 with fourth place overall and kicked off this campaign with a second career victory in the opening round at Losail. The 19-year-old would hold firm at the head of the standings throughout the remainder of a stunning campaign.

Backing up his victory in Qatar with the same result at round two in Argentina, Texas proved to be his worst result in the first half of the year when he came eighth, but Mir bounced back on home turf at Jerez to take third, only a tenth off the win, and was quickly back on the top step at Le Mans. He won again at the Catalan GP before stringing together wins at Sachsenring, Brno and Austria. After losing some ground to key rival Aron Canet (Honda) at Silverstone, he produced a calm ride to second in the rain at Misano and Aragon saw him back on top of the podium, setting him up with his first chance at the title at Motegi.

In torrential conditions, the tale took a twist as Romano Fenati (Honda) took the win and Mir failed to score, but at Phillip Island it was a different story, as the Majorcan took his ninth win of the year clinch the title with two rounds to spare.

PALMARES
World title – 2017

Dennis Foggia

2017 FIM Moto3 Junior World Champion

Born on 7 January 2001 in Algemesi, Italy

MOTO3 JUNIOR CHAMPION REMAINS IN ITALY

Dennis Foggia (KTM) ensured that the FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship remained in Italy in 2017, following in the footsteps of his compatriot Lorenzo Dalla Porta as he clinched the title with two races to spare. 

Jeremy Alcoba (Honda) made the early season running with a victory and a third place in the opening two rounds at Albacete and Le Mans, whilst back-to-back wins for Alonso López (Honda) at the French round and the first of two races at Barcelona-Catalunya pulled him into direct contention with his fellow Spaniard. However, a spell of inconsistency for the pair was met by a run of three straight wins for Foggia, who took the championship lead with a dominant double in round four at Valencia, before following up at Estoril.

A second place in the first race at Jerez edged Foggia closer to the title and even when he crashed in race two, when he was taken out in the last corner by López, Vicente Pérez (KTM) was the only one of the top seven in the championship to capitalise with a points-finish. 

As such, Foggia went into the penultimate event at MotorLand Aragón needing just fifteen points to secure the title. The Junior Team VR46 Riders Academy rider showed his intent in qualifying, scoring his first pole position of the season, before making sure of the championship with second place in a race won by Jaume Masia (KTM).

PALMARES
World title - 2017