The Moto3 World Championship heads to Brno this weekend for the tenth round of the 2019 season, and the beginning of the second half of the season.
Having taken his first win of the season in Sachsenring, Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) arrives in Brno as the leader of the Moto3 World Championship by two points from Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team).
Dalla Porta has had a strong season so far, and especially since the start of the European season he has been consistently fast. Having missed out narrowly in Assen and Mugello to Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) for those wins, taking victory in Sachsenring was important for his season, and it came at an important time – directly before the summer break. Dalla Porta was only tenth in Brno last season, but his smooth riding style, in combination with the Honda’s comfort in the mid-corner, should make the Italian a potent force this weekend.
Aron Canet, by comparison, has had a more complicated year, but his avoidance of incidents has kept him atop the championship for most of the season. Now having lost the championship lead it will be interesting to see how Canet responds this weekend in Brno, where he was second to Fabio Di Giannantonio last year.
Dalla Porta and Canet have a large margin over the rest of the field in the championship. Third in the points is Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), fifty-eight points behind the leading Dalla Porta. The battle for third, though, is quite tight, with only twelve points between Antonelli in third and Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) in eighth. Between Antonelli and Masia are Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) who won in Barcelona; Tony Arbolino who is the only multiple-winner in Moto3 this year; John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) who won in Le Mans and Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) who has impressed with two podiums in his rookie year.
Of course, things are difficult to predict in a series as tight as Moto3, where the front group can be as strong as twenty riders. Brno should be one of the tracks where the group is big, because there are several medium-length straights where the slipstream will have some effect and keep the field together. This makes Brno a dangerous race for the championship contenders, because in a group as large as twenty, things can go wrong at 150mph, and without any real fault you can be on the floor and scoring no points while your rivals are still fighting at the front. Incident avoidance has been a strong point of Aron Canet’s riding this season, and it could be critical this weekend if the race is particularly hectic.
Featured image Gold and Goose/KTM