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

That's a wrap! KymiRing Test concludes on Tuesday 1Joan Mir to Miss the GP of Great Britain 1MotoGP™ meets the KymiRing: the first day of testing concludes in Finland 1Learn to ride with the stars at Silverstone MotoGP 1Instant classic: the gloves come off as Dovizioso denies Marquez in Austria 1MotoGP™ KymiRing test ready for lift off in Finland 1High performance serving safety: the new BMW M8 MotoGP™ Safety Car 1KTM and Dorna agree five-year extension for participation in the MotoGP™ Class 1Instant classic: the gloves come off as Dovizioso denies Marquez in Austria 19709a53b-6257-4b9a-a4da-e662b65ae327MotoGP™ to race at the Red Bull Ring until at least 2025 1Vietti, McPhee and Suzuki within half a tenth on Friday 1"We want to stop him": can Marquez' rivals keep him off the top step at the Red Bull Ring? 1JOAN MIR TO MISS THE AUSTRIAN GP 1KTM riders saddle up for Spielberg 150 not out: Marquez hits a half century of premier class wins 1Quartararo edges out Viñales at the Brno Test 150 not out: Marquez hits a half century of premier class wins 1Marc Marquez puts slicks on pole at a half-soaked Brno 1Quartararo ousts Marquez on Friday 1"Push at the maximum": attack mode engaged at Brno 1MotoGP™ teams up with HC Kometa Brno 1Marc Marquez makes it a perfect ten at the Sachsenring 1Jorge Lorenzo to return at Silverstone 1MotoGP™ Test Teams ready to hit the track at the KymiRing 1Brad Binder makes the step to MotoGP with Red Bull KTM Tech3 in 2020 1Marc Marquez makes it a perfect ten at the Sachsenring 1Quartararo runs Marquez close but the King of the Sachsenring takes pole 1Introducing: the Northern Talent Cup 1Marquez reigns over Rins, Quartararo menacing on Friday 1