Raúl Fernández

2018 FIM Moto3 Junior World Champion

Born on 23 October 2000 in Madrid, Spain

FERNANDEZ TAKES FAST TRACK TO THE TOP

Raùl Fernàndez (KTM) was crowned as the FIM Moto3 Junior World Champion before a wheel was even turned at the final round of the season in Valencia, with his only title rival Manuel Pagliani (Honda) forced to withdraw. However, the odds were already heavily stacked in the favour of the Spanish youngster, who went into the final two races of the campaign needing just two points to wrap up an outstanding championship.

After conceding victory by just 0.199 seconds to Pagliani (Honda) in the opening round at Estoril, the Spaniard claimed a fourth place and a win in the two-race second round at Valencia to take a championship lead that he would not relinquish for the remainder of the season. Two further victories – at Aragón and Albacete - and a total of six podiums put Fernàndez in the perfect position to lift the title before he moves up to the FIM Moto3 World Championship next season, having already impressed at Grand Prix level in 2018 with several points-scoring rides as a wildcard.

Fernàndez only started racing minibikes in 2011 before being nurtured by the Cuna de Campeones youth development system and progressing quickly to the Moto3 Spanish Championship. In 2015 he entered four rounds at national level, taking two wins, three second places and a fourth, and made his international debut in the Red Bull Rookies Cup. In 2016 he took two wins and six podiums in the youth series and after a difficult season riding a Mahindra in the FIM Moto3 Junior World Championship in 2017, he switched to a KTM for 2018 and emerged as one of the brightest talents in Circuit Racing.

PALMARES
World title - 2018

Francesco Bagnaia

2018 FIM Moto2 Grand Prix World Champion

Born on 14th January 1997 in Torino, Italy

PECCO’S PERFECT YEAR

Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) claimed the 2018 FIM Moto2 World Championship title with a race to spare, claiming his twelfth podium finish of an incredibly consistent season at the eighteenth round of nineteen in Malaysia, having already posted eight wins.

‘Pecco’ is no stranger to making history in his short career, having famously scored the first win for Indian factory Mahindra in the Moto3 class in 2016 at the TT Circuit Assen. Another win at Sepang put him fourth in the overall standings that year and marked the 21-year-old out as a man to watch when he made the step up to Moto2 in 2017.

Bagnaia’s first Moto2 podium came at Jerez in round four and was followed by three more as he finished as the Rookie of the Year in fifth overall. Back with Sky Racing Team VR46 for 2018, the Italian started the season on the top step with a first Moto2 win in Qatar and followed up in Texas and Le Mans to make it three from the opening five races.

Miguel Oliveira’s (KTM) victory at Mugello brought him to within a single point of Bagnaia and the pair traded wins at Assen, Brno and Austria as the championship battle turned into a two-rider affair. However, further wins at Misano, Buriram and Motegi moved Pecco clear, as he picked up points in every single race.

After missing his first chance to take the title at Phillip Island, third place in Malaysia was enough to make Bagnaia the second Italian rider to win the FIM Moto2 World Championship, following on from Franco Morbidelli last year.

PALMARES

World title - 2018

Jorge Martin

2018 FIM Moto3 World Champion

Born on 29th January 1998 in Madrid, Spain

MAGIC MARTIN COMES OUT ON TOP

Jorge Martin (Honda) sealed the FIM Moto3 World Championship in style with his seventh victory of the season at the penultimate round in Malaysia. Martin was a frontrunner throughout the season but the Spaniard had to weather the ups and downs of a tense year of competition to come out on top against key rivals Marco Bezzecchi (KTM) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Honda).

Martin made his debut on the world stage in 2015 but emerged as a serious title threat two years later, when he picked up the first of nine podiums in the opening round of 2017 in Qatar, as well as posting nine pole positions. After proving that the speed was there, a maiden victory in the final round at Valencia showed that he was ready to challenge for bigger things in 2018 and the 20-year-old did not disappoint.

The year began perfectly with victories in Qatar and Texas but incidents with other riders at Jerez and Le Mans resulted in two DNFs and threatened to undermine his season as Bezzecchi hit form. More wins at Mugello, Assen and Sachsenring sandwiched another zero in Catalunya before disaster struck at Brno as the Spaniard broke his left wrist in FP1. Incredibly, Martin returned to the track just a week later in Austria, taking a stunning podium finish in a race won by his great rival to keep himself in the hunt.

The pendulum continued to swing between Martin and Bezzechi, both riders collecting more wins and zeroes, before eventually a crash for the Italian at Phillip Island gave the Spaniard his title shot. Di Giannantonio had scored two wins and six podiums to keep himself in contention but after another incredible race, Martin pulled the pin to perfection and with Bezzecchi in fifth and Di Giannantonio sixth, he could celebrate an emotional title.

Jorge Martín is the fourth Honda rider to win the FIM Moto3 World Championship title and the third rider from Spain after Maverick Viñales, Álex Márquez and Joan Mir.

PALMARES
World title – 2018

Sandro Cortese

2018 FIM Supersport World Champion

Born on 6 January 1990 in Ochsenhausen, Germany

SANDRO DOES IT IN STYLE

Sandro Cortese (Yamaha) added the FIM Supersport World Championship title to the FIM Moto3 World Championship he claimed in 2012, after a season of unerring consistency in the 600cc class. The German rider moved to production bike racing after a long career in the Grand Prix paddock - which started in the 125cc class in 2005 before progressing to Moto3 and then five years spent in the Moto2 class that wielded three podium finishes - and he brought his experience, speed, racing talent and fighting spirit, to ensure fans were entertained to the very last lap of the season.

Cortese started his rookie season in the class with a podium at Phillip Island in a race won by defending champion Lucas Mahias (Yamaha), with the Frenchman taking second behind Randy Krummenacher (Yamaha) in round two in Thailand to share the early championship lead with the Swiss rider. However, as both Mahias and Krummenacher struggled for consistency, victories for Cortese at Aragon and Donington and Jules Cluzel (Yamaha) at Assen, Imola and Brno saw the German and the Frenchman move clear at the top.

There was controversy at Portimao when a collision between the pair ended with Cluzel on the ground and empty-handed, but the Frenchman bounced back with consecutive wins at Magny-Cours and Argentina, where Cortese was second on both occasions, to set up a final-round decider with five points between them in Qatar.

A dramatic race that almost didn’t go ahead because of a bizarre rainstorm in the afternoon, saw Cortese and Cluzel regularly trade places at the front, but when Mahias made a move for the lead the German used all his racecraft to keep the pressure on his title rival, who needed the win. Eventually Cluzel cracked and a front-end crash with just three laps to go secured a hard-earned championship for Cortese, whilst a third win for Mahias moved him ahead of his compatriot in the final standings.

After Jörg Teuchert in 2000, Sandro becomes only the second German to win the FIM Supersport World Championship.

PALMARES

2 World Titles – Moto3 in 2012, Supersport in 2018

Ana Carrasco

2018 FIM Supersport 300 World Champion

Born on 10 March 1997 in Murcia, Spain

QUEEN ANA THE FIRST

Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki) was crowned as the 2018 FIM Supersport 300 World Champion following a historic final race of the season at Magny-Cours, where she became the first ever female to secure a solo FIM Circuit Racing world title by a single point.

Carrasco's path to gold medal glory started in the CEV 125cc Spanish Championship, where a number of impressive performances secured a seat in the Moto3 World Championship for 2013. She became the first woman to score points in Moto3 at Sepang and repeated the feat with a season-best finish of eighth in Valencia.

Ana struggled to build on her early success but her career was rejuvenated by a move to the all-new FIM Supersport 300 World Championship in 2017. With new bikes and a level playing field, Carrasco was a consistent points finisher before making more history as the first female ever to win an FIM Circuit Racing solo race at Portimao.

A championship challenge beckoned in 2018, especially after a dominant victory at the third round at Imola, where she won by eleven seconds to lead the standings by three points. Another resounding win followed at Donington Park, which extended her lead to 22 points, and despite a dip in form at the next three rounds, she continued to pick up vital points to keep herself clear by ten going into a tense finale at Magny-Cours.

After qualifying in 25th place, Carrasco mounted a valiant charge into the points positions but with Mika Perez (Kawasaki) leading on the final lap and primed for the victory he needed to snatch the title for himself, it seemed certain her efforts would be in vain. However, a dramatic late twist saw Dani Valle (Yamaha) overtake Perez in the final corner, denying him of five crucial points and handing the championship back to Carrasco, who crossed the line in thirteenth.

Josh Hook

2018 FIM Endurance World Champion

Born on 9 January 1993 in Taree, Australia

JOSH HOOKS HIMSELF A WORLD TITLE

Josh Hook enjoyed a history-making fourth season with F.C.C. TSR as Masakazu Fujii’s outfit joined forces with Honda France and became the first Japanese team ever to win the FIM EWC World Championship in 2017-18. Hook’s success story with the team began in 2015 when he climbed the Suzuka 8 Hour podium alongside Dominique Aegerter and Kyle Smith, a feat he repeated with Aegerter and Randy de Puniet in 2017.

Like many Australians, Hook’s racing career started in dirt track before he switched to the asphalt and embarked on an international circuit racing career that began in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, where he scored a handful of top ten finishes with a best result of fifth. Whilst still in his teens, Hook headed back Australia to win the 125GP championship, moving up to Supersport in 2011 and finishing second overall, whilst also taking third in the Petronas Asia Dream Cup.

After finishing fifth in the Australian Superbike Championship in 2013 and 2014, Hook’s trajectory shifted towards FIM EWC glory when he made a switch to Japanese Superbikes in 2015, impressing team bosses enough to earn his shot at the Suzuka 8 hour. That famous podium finish opened the door to a number of opportunities at World Championship level, including Moto2, World Supersport and World Superbike, but with injuries hampering his progress in individual competitions over the next two seasons it was again the 8 Hour, with F.C.C. TSR, that provided the highlight of 2017.

For 2017-18 the team made his position full-time and with the guidance of Team Manager Masakazu Fujii and experienced team-mate Freddy Foray, Hook became Australia’s latest FIM World Champion.

Alan Techer

2018 FIM Endurance World Champion

Born on 8 September 1994 in Cannes, France

TECHER TAKES HIS CHANCE

Alan Techer became an FIM World Champion at the age of just 23, confirming the potential he first showed as an 11-year-old winning the French Minibike Academy series in 2005. A MotoGP fan from the age of six, when his father first bought him a Yamaha PW50, Techer has been a long-time student of motorcycle racing and of mechanics, even taking a three-year Bacaloriat course in the subject.

After progressing through various 70cc and 125cc competitions in France and Spain, Techer followed in the tyre tracks of many current champions through the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies series and despite missing much of the 2010 season after breaking his arm, he came back the following season and claimed a brace of pole positions and race wins. 

Other impressive performances in the French and Spanish 125cc championships earned him a spot in the FIM Moto3 World Championship in 2012 and Techer did not disappoint, making a number of points-scoring finishes including a best finish of eighth on a TSR Honda in his home Grand Prix at Le Mans.  

However, Techer’s finest moment at the famous French circuit would come six years later, in just his third season of FIM EWC World Championship racing, when alongside Josh Hook and Freddy Foray he was part of the F.C.C. TSR Honda France line-up that took a historic first win for a Japanese team in the 24 Heures.

That famous Le Mans victory took the trio to the top of the standings – a position they would not relinquish for the remainder of the season, and in a stunning finale at the Suzuka 8 Hour the trio wrote their names into the FIM history books with a title-clinching fifth place.

Freddy Foray

2018 FIM Endurance World Champion

Born on 2 August 1984 in Sèvre, France

 

FREDDY’S ENDURING DESIRE

Freddy Foray signed up with Masakazu Fujii’s F.C.C. TSR Honda France Team for 2018 and became an FIM Endurance World Champion for the third time in his career, finally backing up the title he won back in 2010 and 2011 with SERT.

After starting his career in the French 125cc, Supersport and Superbike Championships, Foray became a mainstay of the FIM EWC paddock from 2005, when he competed in the Bol d’Or for the first time. After showing his potential over several seasons in the Superstock category, in 2009 he was signed up as a replacement rider for SERT and he received his big break at the Bol d'Or, when he was drafted in to join Vincent Philippe and Olivier Four and won the race.

It was the start of a great relationship between Foray and SERT, who clinched the FIM EWC title for the next two seasons, but 2011 also featured a career low for the Frenchman when he suffered a head injury in a French Superbike round at Magny Cours. After departing SERT at the end of that year he came back in 2012 to win the Le Mans 24 Heures on a Kawasaki before switching to ride for Honda in the German and British Superbike paddocks.

Foray moved back to the FIM EWC with Honda in 2014 and even though he would have to wait longer than he’d hoped to challenge for another title, his opportunity came in 2018, when he was teamed up with relative newcomers Alan Techer and Josh Hook in a new-look F.C.C. TSR Honda France Team that took the Japanese manufacturer back to the top.

PALMARES

3 World titles: 2010, 2011 and 2018