Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) struck back in style after the summer break, once more the man with the momentum and the Championship lead. But Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) did follow him home by just tenths and took another second place, his consistency this year becoming somewhat of a trademark. And so, as we head into the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, it’s still just three points in it.
Last year’s podium finishers have all moved into Moto2™ and the best either rider has achieved at the track is a fifth place, so neither is a specialist. But they do have the best finishes of the Moto3™ grid barring Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team), who has a P4 to his name, so it’s a solid foundation to give both some confidence. It’s also a track where the lightweight class haven’t crossed the line in a group of riders separated by mere thousandths, so history shows there’s chance to bolt and find some breathing space – exactly what each is looking for in the standings.
Another rider high on confidence heading into Austria, however, will be Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) as the Italian put in an unbelievable comeback at Brno. Forced to start from pitlane after a problem on the grid, the man third in the Championship cut his way through from dead last to get into the battle for the podium. The fairy-tale didn’t end in a rostrum finish but it was only five tenths off the win in fifth; a fairly serious statement of a ride.
And then there’s the likes of Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers), on the podium again in Czechia, and Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai), who was only just off it. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was on the front row and never got to show his pace after his startline incident. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) will want to bounce back from failing to score, as will the likes of Qatar winner Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia), who crashed out.
The fight for Rookie of the Year is also heating up after a DNF for leader Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46), with Japanese rider Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) now within striking distance of the Italian after some solid consistency and form. He’s now had three top six finishes in the last four races and Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) isn’t far off Ogura, either.
Fernandez will also have some more company in the box this weekend: home hero Max Kofler wildcards with the Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team, gaining more experience. There’s nowhere better than one of the most beautiful tracks in the world and there’s no place like home.
See how the Red Bull Ring shuffles the pace on Sunday 11th August at 11:00 (GMT +2), as Canet vs Dalla Porta heads into round 11.
1 – Aron Canet (SPA – KTM) – 148
1 – Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA – Honda) – 145
3 – Niccolo Antonelli (ITA – Honda) – 98
4 – Tony Arbolino (ITA – Honda) – 93
5 – Jaume Masia (SPA – KTM) – 78
Random News Story/strong>