Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) took his fourth Grand Prix win in Texas to pull level on points with Argentina winner Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) at the top of the Championship, but now the paddock returns to Europe and the races come thick and fast. Amping up the pressure even further, first up is home turf for the two men at the top – the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto – and that’s where Canet won his first ever GP. So the veteran has form, but what of the competition?
Masia certainly has. The sophomore took the second best result of his rookie campaign at Jerez in 2018 as he came home fifth, a highlight of an incredibly impressive debut year. Now he’s a year older, a race winner and the Championship leader it’s a different kind of pressure in front of the home crowd but he’ll be gunning for glory for sure. COTA podium man Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai), meanwhile, was the highest finisher still in the class when Moto3™ raced at Jerez last season, but it’s another Italian who has the best record in Andalucia: Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers). So far the returning rider has struggled to find some clear traction, but Jerez was his first win in 2012 and another win in 2014 – a better rap sheet than Canet. Could this be where it starts?
There’s more. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) can’t be counted out now he’s back up to full health, Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) wants to make amends for his COTA crash, Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) has shown great speed this season and the likes of John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) have seem yet to show their hand. The fight for Rookie of the Year could play a role near the front in Jerez too as Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) are split by only a point just outside the top ten in the standings – and both have more than enough experience at the track to really get in the mix. Meanwhile the Italian duo in third and fourth overall and aiming to spoil the home party as the paddock heads back to Europe are Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) and Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), neither of whom have records to write home about when it comes to the Spanish GP, but can they turn that around?
Will we see another tactical masterclass from Canet, the return of Fenati or an almighty shuffle at Jerez’s final ‘Jorge Lorenzo’ corner? Find out from the 3rd to 5th of May in the Gran Premio Red Bull de España.
1 – Jaume Masia (SPA – KTM) – 45
2 – Aron Canet (SPA – KTM) – 45
3 – Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA – Honda) – 32
4 – Niccolo Antonelli (ITA – Honda) – 32
5 – Kaito Toba (JPN – Honda) – 31
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