It's always been difficult to judge... but in the past with the 250cc class you had to be on the absolute best Honda or Aprilia or you weren't going anywhere. The first season of Moto2 was an insane axe-murderer class. It's settled down considerably but now it's a case of if you have a bad day qualifying and are a second off the pace you are starting 20th or worse. The grid is super tight and sometimes it's hard to know.
In the last 10 years I think the only rider you *really* knew that was special was probably Marquez.
re. Casey Stoner... He was very, very good, even in the lower classes. What people failed to realize was he was not just good, but a moto-genius (and better than 250cc champion Dani Pedrosa). For whatever reason (tyres?) he developed a reputation as a crasher in his rookie campaign. Ended really quickly when he left LCR and went to Ducati.
Last year in Moto2... the rider I was most impressed with was Brad Binder. The KTM was a piece of work and he almost won the title. He had to ride it aggressively into the corners as on the gas it was not a match for the Kalex.
Edited by ehagar, 18 January 2020 - 18:58.