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4 days ago
By motogp.com

When I’m 64 points clear: is the pressure off for Mir?

Ahead of 2016 Moto3™ Champion Brad Binder’s total by this point, the superlatives are running dry

After another stunning win at the Red Bull Ring, Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) is now, incredibly, ahead of Brad Binder’s total at the same time last year. Then, it was 61. Now, it’s 64.

Binder won the title at Aragon to become the first rider to do so, and Mir is on the same path – needing on average to increase his advantage at Silverstone and Misano by 18 points apiece. So the British GP will be all guns blazing – enough of a buffer to take a risk, and enough on offer to make it worthwhile. The pressure would appear to be off, and shifted down the table to those on the chase.

In addition, it wasn’t just the win in Austria that gave Mir such a gain – it was a difficult race for key rival Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) and the Italian came home 13th. How he bounces back now could be key to his end of season form, and his last stand against Mir. Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), meanwhile, is the man in the top three who has both maths and time on his side – he’s remaining in the category for 2018, so to be third in standings now is a job well done, without any added pressure.

One of Mir’s early season rivals, Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), has also missed the German GP and Czech GP through injury, although he came back in stunning style in Austria to ride through the pain barrier to the podium in P3. But now 110 points off Mir, he’ll more be looking to break free of those behind him in the standings – teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio, John McPhee (British Talent Team) and Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate), who are in close company.

McPhee will be the man in the spotlight. The first ever home race for the British Talent Team will give the Brit some extra motivation, especially after a DNF in Austria through no fault of his own. And what is created in pressure by a home crowd can be tempered by support – and there is sure to be plenty of that. There are also two British wildcards looking to impress; City Lifting/RS Racing duo Thomas Booth-Amos and Jake Archer.

The schedule at Silverstone is different. Moto3™ are out on track as usual from 9:00 local time (this time GMT +1, or British Summer Time) on Friday for practice but the race fires up later - set for 12:40 on Sunday. And it's a landmark race - the 100th of the category since it was introduced in 2012.

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