Reigning Moto2 champion Augusto Fernandez won’t defend his crown after being promoted by KTM to MotoGP, meaning a first-time champion will be crowned this season.

Ranking the main Moto2 contenders from sixth down to first

6 - Aron Canet 

Still yet to win a Moto2 race, Canet has been one of the most consistent riders since entering the intermediate class in 2020, and will be hopeful of finally ending his drought.

Canet should have won on a couple of occasions but crashed out from either the lead of the race or whilst in contention for victory.

Still a member of the Flexbox HP40 team which is one of the best outfits on the grid, Canet should have plenty of opportunities to showcase his talent once again.

The Spaniard, who was rumoured to be a target for some MotoGP teams in 2021, could reignite that interest with a championship run in 2023. 

5 - Izan Guevara

One of the most hyped talents in recent years, and for good reason, Guevara could become an instant championship contender similar to what we saw with Raul Fernandez in 2021.

The young Spaniard dominated the 2022 Moto3 campaign, which is something a lot of riders who win the championship aren’t able to do given the nature of racing and competitiveness usually on display. 

With MotoGP teams already lining up to sign the 18-year-old, only a disastrous campaign would halt the interest and hype surrounding him, something we would be shocked to see.

Guevara will be riding alongside Jake Dixon at the GASGAS Aspar Team which is known for producing competitive machines for its riders. 

4 - Tony Arbolino

A good start and end to 2022 resulted in Arbolino being one of the most successful riders throughout the year, however, the Italian lost out on sustaining a title challenge due to an inconsistent run during the middle part of the campaign.

If Arbolino can address the inconsistency he’s at times showed, then a title tilt is more than likely for the three-time race winner in 2022.

Arbolino has also had a habit of improving each season that he remains in a particular class which could be a good omen for his third season in Moto2. 

3 - Alonso Lopez 

After replacing Romano Fenati at Le Mans last season, Lopez, who had just four Moto2 races under his belt previous to that weekend, was sensational for the remainder of the year.

Clearly achieving better results than what Fenati had been, Lopez then began to out-perform the hugely coveted Fermin Aldeguer.

Lopez won two races and claimed another three podiums in just 14 appearances, which was enough for him to finish eighth in the championship. 

With a full season and the chance to remain with the same team, Lopez is expected to be a major player when it comes to the championship battle. 

2 -  Ai Ogura

Arguably the favourite based on his outstanding 2022 season, Ogura will be expecting to fight for the title once again ahead of a potential MotoGP move in 2023.

Leading the way with just two races remaining, Ogura suffered back-to-back crashes which handed the advantage back to Fernandez, with the Spaniard eventually claiming fourth and second in those races.

But although the Japanese rider missed out on the title, consistency, speed and controlled aggression were three of the factors that made him so good for much of the year.

It’s for that reason that Ogura can’t be taken lightly and why we have him second on our list. 

1 -  Pedro Acosta

While hype might also be surrounding the likes of Guevara and Aldeguer as possible MotoGP stars of the future, the top dog in this aspect remains Acosta.

The KTM rider is an outrageous talent, as shown by his rookie Moto3 season when he won the title before claiming three race wins as a Moto2 rookie last season.

Acosta grew stronger and stronger as the 2022 campaign went on before looking like a potential winner at every venue.

If Acosta starts 2023 with the same level of performance, then stopping the Spaniard is likely to be one of the toughest challenges in any of the three world championships. 

Acosta has been nothing short of sensational since joining the Grand Prix paddock, and whether he wins the title this season or not, a move to MotoGP is very likely after already receiving an offer which he turned down last year.