Features 10 May 2018

Rated: MotoGP’s lead Independents

Riders achieving significant results within privately-operated teams.

The Independent Teams of MotoGP have been on the rise once again in recent years, featuring some of the most highly-respected riders on the grid with their share of official support in a number of cases. CycleOnline.com.au looks at just some of the best in this latest Rated feature.

Image: Supplied.

Rider: Johann Zarco
Rating: A
Rundown: There’s no denying that flying Frenchman Zarco is one of the most sought-after riders in the premier class, with two Moto2 titles to his credit and a stunning first season in MotoGP last year. Currently second in the standings with two podiums in four races this year, Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Zarco has already inked a deal with Red Bull KTM to lead its factory assault from 2019.

Rider: Cal Crutchlow
Rating: A-
Rundown: After working his way through the British championship, World Supersport and World Superbike, Crutchlow finally arrived in grand prix racing in 2011 and has established himself as one of the elite men since. Seventh in the standings with a win in Argentina, the LCR Honda mainstay is also well-recognised for his developmental strengths, earning him a Honda Racing Corporation contract for 2018 and 2019.

Rider: Jack Miller
Rating: B+
Rundown: This year has seen Miller move to Pramac Racing on-board a Ducati Desmosedici GP17 and already he’s shown his best premier class form yet. Sitting eighth in the standings, Miller starred by claiming pole in Argentina and has finished inside the top 10 across all four races this season. Podium results and more excitement are most definitely on the cards for the races to come as he rides to earn an elusive factory seat for 2019.

Image: Supplied.

Rider: Danilo Petrucci
Rating: B+
Rundown: Last season was well and truly a breakout year for experienced Italian Petrucci, picking up no less than four podiums as part of Pramac Racing. This year he’s on a current bike and has once again been strong with a pair of top fives already, but with added competition within the garage thanks to Miller, Petrucci will have to keep pushing to maintain his lead status within the satellite squad.

Rider: Tito Rabat
Rating: B-
Rundown: A former Moto2 champion in his own right, following two grim years with Marc VDS in the premier class, Rabat has been on the improve to date in 2018. An opportunity with Avintia Racing riding a Ducati GP17 has revived the Spaniard’s MotoGP career and, following the opening four rounds, he’s 10th in the points. Ex-teammate Miller would have to be the benchmark for Rabat to compare his progress with, however at 28 years of age he’s become a capable, proven option for satellite teams in search of a strong European rider in the market.