• Team: Avintia Esponsorama (satellite)
  • Bike: GP19
  • Wins: 0
  • Podiums: 2
  • Best Qualifying: 9th
  • Fastest Lap: 1
  • DNFs: 3
  • Championship position: 11th

Enea Bastianini arrived in MotoGP as the reigning Moto2 champion, learning the premier-class ropes alongside fellow rookie Luca Marini on 2019-spec Ducatis at the Avintia team.

Johann Zarco had taken the same bike to the team's first pole and podium the previous year. But despite the growing age gap to the 2021 bikes, Bastianini was able to stand on the podium twice on his way to 11th in the world championship (two places higher than Zarco the previous year).

That's despite failing to qualify higher than ninth, his main Achilles' heel this season. Indeed, Bastianini's Misano rostrums were only achieved after charging from just twelfth and 16th on the grid.

Although beaten to top rookie honours by race winner Jorge Martin on the latest GP21, Bastianini scored more than twice the points of team-mate Marini, the only rider on equal machinery.

All in all, we think Bastianini's efforts deserved a place in the top ten and he thus opens our rider countdown for the 2021 season. It'll be interesting to see what the young Italian can do on GP21 machinery at Gresini next year...