It’ll be a new name on the top step in Barcelona, but there are a few usual suspects…
Despite the incredibly competitive field – and some seriously experienced runners – no one on the Moto2™ grid has won in the class at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya yet. So we’ll have a new name on the winner’s trophy in the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, but it looks like we have a few prime contenders…
First and foremost, the two men at the top. Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) retains the points lead on the way in to Barcelona, and he’s won twice so far this season. If he does it again, the third win will equal his closest challenger: Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team). The former is five points ahead and took the first win at Misano, before the latter hit back as he bolted to victory in the Emilia Romagna GP, so there’s plenty at stake in terms of points, momentum and pride. Bastianini has also previously mastered the track in Moto3™.
Third overall Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46), meanwhile, has now had a Moto2™ win – and he’s been on the podium three times in a row for the first time since his Moto3™ days. Can that continue and can he go one step better in Barcelona? His pace has been impressive, and he’s now expected at the front. That’s also true of the man now behind him in the Championship, Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), as the Brit recovered well from a pitlane start penalty to take P8 and then followed that up with a podium, consistency on point. He also has some ground to make up, a fitting-in-some-ways 22 points off Bezzecchi, so he’ll be pushing hard to get in the battle for the podium and win.
The man who’ll have more than a few eyes on him if he can return, however, has fallen to fifth overall after missing the two races at Misano: Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo). If he’s now allowed to race again, the Spaniard will be on a serious mission to get back on the top step and prove it ain’t over till it’s over. Will he be back to pick up where he left off? And how much risk will he take trying to gain back lost ground if yes?
Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) were well in the fight in the Emilia Romagna GP too – with the other frontrunners and each other – and Vierge will be wanting to prove a point after crashing out following contact with Schrötter last time out. He’s on home turf with a fresh contract for 2021 in his pocket, so there’s a bit less pressure and a whole heap of incentive. His teammate Jake Dixon deserves a shout too, having taken a best result of sixth in the Emilia Romagna GP. Can he do that again?
Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) went a little MIA at Misano compared to his 2020 form overall, and Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) needs to bounce back as well. What can they do? And what about impressive rookie Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) after a couple of tougher race weekends? He’ll want to get back into that battle in the top six or more.
A new name will win the Moto2™ race at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, and no one arrives with a record to make the others quiver. It’s anyone’s game, but the Italian trio at the top will take some beating and Jorge Martin will be on a charge. Find out who comes out on top as the lights go out for Moto2™ at the slightly later time of 13:20 (GMT +2) on Sunday the 27th of September.
Moto2™ Championship Standings
1 Luca Marini – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex – 125
2 Enea Bastianini – Italtrans Racing Team – Kalex – 120
3 Marco Bezzecchi – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex – 105
4 Sam Lowes – EG0,0 Marc VDS – Kalex – 83
5 Jorge Martin – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – 79