Having taken his first Moto2 victories last year, plus five other podiums, Marco Bezzecchi was among the firm favourites for the 2021 title ahead of an expected MotoGP move in 2022.

But the VR46 rider entered the summer break without a Moto2 victory from the nine rounds and currently sits a distant third in the standings behind the dominant Ajo duo of Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez.

So far, it's not been the compelling case for a MotoGP ride that many expected. But factory Ducati star and fellow VR46 Academy member Francesco Bagnaia believes Bezzecchi's season is better than it looks and, despite holding the same position in the world championship as at this stage last year, the #72 is 'more prepared' for a place in MotoGP.

"I think this year the level of Moto2 is very high. [Bezzecchi'’s] doing a really great job, but it's clear Ajo have something more in terms of rider and in terms of package," said Bagnaia, who won the 2018 Moto2 title for VR46 before stepping up to MotoGP.

"If we look at the races, it’s clear Marco is doing his best. He’s pushing like hell from the start every time. I think he’s doing a really great job. This year he’s more prepared to arrive in MotoGP.

"But at the moment the Ajo team have found something that allows the riders to be always in front."

Bezzecchi, who joined fellow Moto2 riders Fabio di Giannantonio and Joe Roberts in turning down the Factory Aprilia MotoGP seat for this season, is considered favourite to join the new VR46 MotoGP team in 2022, assuming Valentino Rossi doesn't take the ride.

If Rossi does decide to race the Ducati next year, the rumours suggest Bezzecchi would join a long list of contenders for a place at Petronas Yamaha.