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Moto2 going right down to the wire

Moto2 going right down to the wire

Having regained the Championship lead by just three points from Marc Márquez, Stefan Bradl and his Spanish rival will again cross swords this weekend at Sepang.

With the MotoGP title already wrapped up by Casey Stoner and the 125 category tipping in Nico Terol’s favour, the Moto2 class remains the most finely balanced of the three World Championship classes – just three points separate title rivals Stefan Bradl and Marc Márquez going into this weekend’s penultimate round, the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

The pair both finished on the podium on Sunday in Australia, Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) placing second behind race winner Alex de Angelis after a last-lap scare in which he nearly crashed, and Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) in third after mounting a stirring fight through the field having started from last position on the grid due to a qualifying penalty.

The title could be decided this weekend if Bradl were to win and Márquez scored less than three points, but such an eventuality is highly unlikely and this title scrap is poised to go down to the final round in Valencia which follows a fortnight after Sepang. Both riders rode impressive races here in Malaysia last year, Bradl coming from 22nd on the grid to finish seventh in the Moto2 race whilst Márquez won the 125cc race from pole on his way to the title.

With all eyes focused on the thrilling battle at the very top, a no-less engrossing contest plays out further down the field. With his first win of the season, in Australia, De Angelis (JiR Moto2) closed the gap to third-placed Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) to just eight points and the two are certain to fight tooth and nail to the bitter end for a top-three finish.

Similarly, fifth spot in the standings remains wide open with just six points spread across Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project), Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and rookie Bradley Smith (Tech 3), with Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) a distant eighth but closely pursued by Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX). Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40) currently completes the top ten, but has Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP) close on his heels.

There will be two wildcard riders added to the Moto2 field this weekend, with Malaysians Zamri Baba and Hafizh Syahrin on Moriwaki machinery for Petronas Malaysia.

Tags:
Moto2, 2011, SHELL ADVANCE MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX

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