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6 hours ago
By motogp.com

Everything to play for: Lüthi closes in and Marquez returns

Nine points now separate Morbidelli and Lüthi at the top – and the man undefeated so far on home turf will be back

When the rain came down at Misano, it put the title fight on a knife egde – and it was Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) who fell foul of the weather, crashing out of the lead and forced to watch key rival Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) bring it home in second – slashing the Italian’s advantage to nine points. Now Morbidelli is under pressure once more, with only five rounds remaining and an even smaller cushion of points to play with.

The leader of the pack will want to reassert his authority quickly, having taken two big hits in the points of late, at Misano and Brno. Lüthi will likewise want to strike again and quickly, and took fourth last year. But a complicating factor could be the return of his teammate Alex Marquez, who although coming back from injury, took his first podium finish in the intermediate class at Aragon – 0.032 seconds ahead of Morbidelli last year. With a top record in Moto3™ at the track too, Marquez will be a question mark in terms of his fitness over the full race – but has a lot less to lose. He is also undefeated on home turf so far this year.

Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) was the man on the top step at Misano, and the Swiss rider will be on a high going into MotorLand. So will Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia), who took his second ever podium last time out. The boost could see both men make a push forward again.

Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) came back down to earth at Misano following his win at Silverstone, crashing out on the last lap although able to remount and score a couple of points. Nakagami was fifth last season at MotorLand, ahead of another man looking for more, Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team), who took seventh. Another crasher in the San Marino GP was Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team), who started from pole – and who has had incredible speed all year, never to be counted out.

Technical, beautiful and long, MotorLand Aragon is a challenge in itself. In a class as tightly packed as Moto2™, the weekend will be another to remember – with the race ready to go at 12:20 (GMT +2) on Sunday.

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