This weekend the Moto2 World Championship returns from its summer break in the Czech Republic, as Brno hosts the tenth round of the 2019 season.
Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) returns from his holidays leading the championship by eight points from Tom Luthi (Dynavolt Intact GP). Sachsenring was another masterclass from Marquez, who has clearly been the rider who has made the best adaptation to this year’s regulation changes with the Triumph engines as increased electronics in Grand Prix racing’s intermediate class. In Germany, Marquez won by over one second, as he did in Barcelona, Mugello and Le Mans, and dominated the field to reclaim the championship lead as his closest rival Luthi finished only fifth to relinquish the championship lead. Marquez has a decent record in Brno, finishing fourth in his first Moto2 Czech Grand Prix in 2015, fifth in 2016 and second in 2017, so will be hoping to extend his advantage again this weekend.
Tom Luthi won his last Moto2 race in Brno back in 2017 in the rain, although his previous Czech podium to that was third in 2013, following a second in 2012. Luthi’s last win before his 2017 triumph was back in 2005, his 125cc championship-winning year. The Swiss needs to add a third Czech win this weekend if he wants to keep the pressure on Marquez, who currently looks nailed on for the title based on his pace advantage in the latter part of the race.
Another disappointing race for Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) in Sachsenring, where he finished seventh, six seconds off the win, saw him fall out of championship contention despite dominating the early part of the season. Finishing behind his Pons teammate, Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40), also saw the Spaniard extend his points lead over Baldassarri in their battle for third in the championship.
Also involved in that third-place points battle are Jorge Navarro (Speed Up) and Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP) who are both joint on ninety-seven points with Baldassarri, as well as Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) just seven points further back and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) just six points back of Marini.
Navarro’s season has been up-and-down, but more up than down. The Spaniard was near the back at turn one in Germany, but his comeback was strong and he finished eighth, a performance which backed up his podiums from earlier in the year. All that is missing from Navarro’s season is a win, and the Speed Up’s prowess in the mid-corner could prove pivotal for him in the flowing corners of Brno.
Marcel Schrotter’s season has been similar to Navarro’s, in that he is just missing a win. He was back on the pace in Germany, but fell back just after the start and that compromised his podium challenge.
Luca Marini suffered with his shoulder in Germany, but last year fought with Miguel Oliveira for the win in Brno so should be expected to fight at the front again this year, as will Brad Binder who has been second in the last two races for KTM on a bike which arguably should not be in the top three, and now has a MotoGP contract in place for 2020 at Red Bull KTM Tech 3.
Featured Image courtesy of David Goldman/MarcVDS