Franco Morbidelli fired up for an Adriatic attack
After learning at Brno how quickly the colour of the Championship can change, Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) remains very much on the attack after Silverstone – despite his 29 point advantage over Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) in the standings. Next up is his home race at Misano and having never shone too brightly on home turf, the Italian wants to change that this year as he aims to make sure that he’ll be the man with the Moto2™ World Championship under his belt when he and Lüthi share a MotoGP™ garage next season.
Last year at Misano, Morbidelli was fifth and Lüthi sixth. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) was the winner and he’ll want to be back on form, but it’s been a tougher season so far for the Forward rider. The other key name on last year’s podium was Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) in third – the man who took victory at Silverstone – so there will be some serious competition, as always.
Another home hero with little on the line and no pressure is superfast rookie Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46), yet another complication in the mix as the two title rivals look to make a melee into a duel, and he was just ahead of Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) and Stefano Manzi (Sky Racing Team VR46) at Silverstone. Manzi, after a tough first season in the intermediate class thus far, put on a great show of form in the UK to come home seventh – and he’ll want to back it up quickly. Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team) is another local, and another who wants to repeat some good points and pace at Silverstone.
The bounce back crew after a difficult British GP is led by Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). With stunning pace all weekend and a front row start, the rider from Cervera suffered a lowside out the lead and lost his shot at his first win outside Spain. Remounting to finish fourteenth and take points was of little consolation, but now it’s situation reset and he’ll have a point to prove – something he’s managed many times before. He’s not won at Misano yet, but he was only 0.042 seconds off in 2014 on his way to the Moto3™ title. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is another ready to strike back after a difficult British GP, with the Portuguese riding taking P8 in the UK, and he’s another who’s been close to the victory on the Riviera di Rimini – in his case only 0.037 seconds off in 2015.
The margin between winning and losing can be a tenth or ten seconds, but the points taken home are the same. Morbidelli knows that, and says he’ll stay on the attack – but the question could be how much he values home glory over once again increasing that points lead.
Lights out on Sunday for the intermediate class is at 12:20 (GMT +2).
Moto2 World Championship Classification
1 – Franco Morbidelli (ITA – Kalex) 223 points
2 – Thomas Lüthi (SWI – Kalex) 194 points
3 – Álex Márquez (SPA – Kalex) 155 points
4 – Miguel Oliveira (POR – KTM) 141 points
5 – Francesco Bagnaia (ITA – Kalex) 111 points