Third on the list is an already familiar face from the back end of 2018, Celestino Vietti.
The Sky VR46 academy rider had been competing in the FIM CEV Moto3 Junior world championship along with the majority of the rookie field but stepped up to replace the injured Nicolo Bulega in four races after Bulega injured his hand in the strangest of ways… by falling through a glass table whilst playing with his dog.
Vietti’s CEV campaign wasn’t quite the success he was hoping for with only one second-place podium and three top 10s and, unfortunately, his three retirements as well as three non-starts took a toll on his points and he had to settle for 10thin the championship standings.
Luckily for Vietti (but maybe not Bulega), he got his big break in Japan when he climbed onto the KTM machine and gained 10 places from 24thto 14thin his first ever outing in Moto3. If anyone thought it was a fluke or just a stroke of luck, they were soon silenced in Australia as the young Italian rocketed from 21stto 3rd, earning him his first ever Moto3 podium and Sky Racing Team VR46 their second podium of the year. Vietti showed even more promise in Sepang as he qualified in 12thplace but failed to finish race, crashing out of podium contention. However, another stunning show in a damp Valencia as he gained 13thplaced to finish in the top 10 showed all the doubters exactly why they should be eating their words.
Vietti will partner up with Dennis Foggia at the Sky Racing team VR46 as Bulega moves into Moto2 to take the now vacant seat alongside Luca Marini. We look forward to seeing if Vietti can carry on with his previous superb form and be fighting at the top of the field again.