SEE | Now that Marc Marquez is out, who will clinch the 2020 MotoGP title?

Fabio Quartararo of France and Petronas Yamaha SRT speaks during the press conference at the end of the qualifying practice during the MotoGP of Andalucia -
Fabio Quartararo of France and Petronas Yamaha SRT speaks during the press conference at the end of the qualifying practice during the MotoGP of Andalucia -

• MotoGP reigning champion Marc Marquez is likely to not race again in 2020. 

• French rider Fabio Quartararo currently leads the riders' standings. 

• We look at who the 2020 MotoGP leading contenders are to claim the crown.

Six-time MotoGP title winner Marc Marquez is out of the running for the 2020 championship due to injury. We look at the men vying for this year's crown. 

The Spanish rider fractured his arm in the opening race in Jerez and on 22 August, his Honda team confirmed the reigning champion is facing two to three months out of the sport. 

The season is due to end on 22 November at the Portuguese Grand Prix, and, likely, Marquez will not feature again this season. 

Who do you think could win the 2020 MotoGP championship, and why? Please email us your thoughts here.

Who is in contention?

It means that for the first time in five years, a new rider will be crowned champion. But who is staking their claim as a potential champion? It will take a brave person to bet on the 2020 winner.

Miguel Oliveira's win on Sunday at the Styrian Grand Prix was the fourth different winner in the last four races and the third first-time winner this season after Fabio Quartararo and South African Brad Binder.

Quartararo leads the standings on 70 points, and only 35 points incredibly separates the top 10 riders. The 21-year-old Frenchman, who won the opening two races, has a three-point gap over Ducati factory rider Andrea Dovizioso. 

The surprise rider of the season is rookie Binder. The South African KTM rider has been nothing short of sensational after the two opening races in Spain. The 25-year-old rider won the Czech Republic GP in Brno as locals back home shared their delight of his history-making victory on social media. 

Binder is the first South African to compete in the premier class. The youngster followed up his win with a fourth-place finish at KTM's home race in Austria and then a eighth-place finish in the Styrian GP at the same Spielberg track. 

Binder finds himself ahead of more experienced riders such as Maverick Vinales and his Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi. The Italian, 41, is the only other active rider with more world titles than Marquez and will fancy his chances to win his eighth premier class title. 

Remaining races 

The 2020 MotoGP season was set to be the longest in the sport's history with 20 races. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the season made a delayed start in Jerez on 19 July.

The organisers have decided that the remaining races will take place in Europe after they cancelled rounds in Argentina, Malaysia and Thailand. The finale of the season will take place in the Algarve at the Portimao circuit in Portugal, the first in the country for eight years. 

The riders return to racing on 13 September for the San Marino GP at the Misano circuit in Italy. There are nine races of the season remaining. 

The smart money will be on Dovizioso, the most experienced rider in the top five. The 34-year-old factory Ducati rider will know he might never get another chance to win a world championship without Marquez breathing down his neck. In 2019, Dovizioso finished second to Marquez by a massive 151-point margin. 

On the other hand, the youthfulness of Quartararo, Miller, Vinales and Binder has been exciting to watch. Or might it be the year of the "the doctor" - Valentino Rossi - to win his first title since 2009?

Rossi has lived in Marquez's shadow for almost close to a decade and with Marquez only 27-years-old, he is likely to topple the Italian's record. Rossi's legions of fans around the world would love him to stir nostalgic moments of yellow flares and "ultra" fans hoping to get a glimpse of the multiple champion. 

As things stand now, there is no clear favourite, which makes the sport even more exciting. 

Marquez's absence could be the catalyst for one of these men to win their maiden championship; and for a new world champion in five years and continue the trend of 2020 as one big surprise. 


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