Tom Lüthi sublime in Austin to get back on the top step 1
The Italian crashed out at COTA and Tom Lüthi took over as the class of the field. Will that prove an anomaly once we race in Andalucia?

After two sublime wins in a row for Moto2™ Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) to begin the season, the best word to describe the Italian’s form was imperious. But then came Texas and his crash at COTA showed he was far from unbeatable, with key rival and veteran Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) taking over on the top step and closing the gap down – as did teammate and second place finisher Marcel Schrötter. Now we head back onto more successful hunting grounds for Baldassarri, how will the cards play out in Jerez?

The bad news for his rivals is that the number 7 will definitely be walking into the venue high on confidence despite the COTA crash. Texas has always been a more difficult track for him, he’s still ahead in the standings…and he won the 2018 Spanish GP. That’s certainly enough for everyone to have a serious eye on the Italian as a favourite, although the likes of Lüthi and Schrötter will be gunning for more glory and are within striking distance in the points.

Home hero Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) is another man who’ll be fired up as well. With one podium so far this season, taken in Argentina, the number 73 has had some good pace so far – and was the man who took the win in Jerez the year before Baldassarri. It was his first in the intermediate class and the 2014 Moto3™ World Champion was just unbeatable from pole, so he can’t be counted out and will be looking for that tiny bit more than his pace in testing at the track. In preseason he rounded out the top five, though there’s plenty mileage been raced since then.

Biker T-Shirts UK

Two men hoping that’s not changed all that much will be the fastest duo back in preseason: Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), who ended the test split by thousandths. Neither have had the start to the season they likely imagined back before the lights went out in Qatar, but the Spanish GP could be the perfect reset button so dominant were the two on the timesheets.

Then there’s the likes of Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team), home hero Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46)…and Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up), who took his first intermediate class podium last time out. And the fight for Rookie of the Year sees a lot at stake too, with Spaniard Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) looking to make up some ground on home turf.

There’s everything to play for in the Red Bull Gran Premio de España and plenty of riders gunning for glory in front of one of the most incredible crowds of the year. Will the home heroes fly the flag, will the pacesetters in testing fight back, or will Baldassarri blast right back out the blocks where he left off in Argentina? It’s one thing to win two in a row, it’s another for that to be the new normal. See if the frontrunners have chased down the Championship leader from the 3rd to 5th May.

Championship standings
1 – Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA – Kalex) – 50
2 – Marcel Schrötter (GER – Kalex) – 47
3 – Tom Lüthi (SWI – Kalex) – 45
4 – Remy Gardner (AUS – Kalex) – 38
5 – Alex Marquez (SPA – Kalex) – 36

MotoGP Gallery

Marquez makes history for Honda ahead of a Ducati duel for the podium 1Marquez equals Rossi with pole, Petrucci and Miller complete the front row 1Vinales fights off Marquez to go fastest in France 1Alpinestars Presents: Limited Edition Johann Zarco 2019 Supertech R Race Replica 2“I expect to be fast”: fighting talk in France 1Alpinestars Launches: 2019 MM93 Collection 1From the City of Light to Le Mans: Quartararo, Zarco and Lorenzo make a pit stop in Paris 1Motorcycle GP Legends To Appear at the Silverstone Classic 1BMW M Power for the fastest qualifier in 2019 1Andrea Dovizioso stuns Silverstone to retake the Championship lead 1MOTOGP STAR DOVIZIOSO TO RACE FOR AUDI IN THE DTM 1Quartararo crushes his lap record in testing 1Marquez wins, Rins gains and Quartararo heads home heartbroken 1Not too fast for Fabio: rookie makes history as he takes pole in Jerez 1Kunii takes Jerez 1 from Tatay and Baltus 1Ducati vs Honda: it's a head-to-head on Day 1 in Jerez 1Jerez Turn 6 named Dani Pedrosa 1"There are a lot of fast riders": fierce competition expected in Jerez 1Dovizioso: horsepower in Jerez 1Alex Rins fights off Rossi for first win as Marquez suffers shock crash at COTA 1Alex Rins fights off Rossi for first win as Marquez suffers shock crash at COTA 1Marquez on pole, Rossi in hot pursuit: can the 'Doctor' stop the King of COTA? 1Maverick Vinales deposes Marquez on Day 1 1Number 69 retired from MotoGP™ 1“It’s a very tricky track”: riders saddle up for Austin 1Marquez dominates ahead of a Rossi vs Dovi last lap duel 1Marquez dominates ahead of a Rossi vs Dovi last lap duel 1Full tilt at Termas: Marc Marquez fights off Viñales and Dovi for pole 1Dovi tops the Termas shuffle as 21 riders finish Friday within a second 1Teeing off at Termas 1