After two wins to open the year, Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) showed he wasn’t untouchable at COTA, crossing the line in eighth as expected Championship rival Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) took a stunning first win of the year. Now it’s his home race, and the points leader will be looking to fight back fast – but the field seem to be closing in.
Texas had seen compatriot Aron Canet (EG 0,0) dominate the timesheets in almost unbelievable style, before the Spaniard dramatically highsided out of the lead under pressure from Fenati. The EG 0,0 rider will be looking to write a different story on home turf in Jerez, and teammate Enea Bastianini will also be keen to join the charge at the team’s home venue – having shown much improved pace in Texas to come home fourth.
Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) is the man looking for much of the same after his form so far in 2017. The only rider on the podium every race and now second in the standings, Martin knows consistency wins trophies – and will have even more motivation in his home nation. The rider just behind him on points, John McPhee (British Talent Team), should also be a force to be reckoned with – debuting well on the Official Test timesheets first time out with his new team at Jerez earlier in the year.
The Italian charge, alongside Fenati and Bastianini, will surely also feature Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46). ‘Diggia’ had a tough start to 2017 with a broken collarbone in preseason, and crashed out in Argentina after an incident for which Bulega was penalised. But back on the podium in Austin, the Gresini rider goes into Jerez with higher confidence and ready to get back to his stunning 2016 form.
Bulega is the man who will be hoping to keep his traction in Jerez, after two tough races and then a top five in Texas – after a rookie and first ever pole at the Spanish GP in 2016, the VR46 academy man was also top in Official Testing at the venue. Good reading for Bulega ahead of lights out.
The Moto3™ grid is deep in 2017, and it could be anyone’s game once again. Now back at a track where many have much more experience, the fight is sure to hot up in Andalusia – and Mir is sure to give everything to get back on top.
FP1 begins at 9:00 (GMT +2) on Friday, before the race on Sunday at 11:00.
Moto3 World Championship Classification
1 – Joan Mir (SPA – Honda) 58 points
2 – Jorge Martin (SPA – Honda) 52 points
3 – John McPhee (GBR – Honda) 49 points
4 – Romano Fenati (ITA – Honda) 45 points
5 – Andrea Migno (ITA – KTM) 25 points