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28 days ago
By motogp.com

One point in it: Oliveira and Bagnaia ready for round eight

It’s as close as can be at the top in Moto2™ - which way will the momentum swing at Assen?

The man of the Moto2™ moment in Barcelona was neither of the two biggest title contenders so far this season, it was Fabio Quartararo (HDR – Speed Up). The Frenchman took his first Moto2™ pole on Saturday and converted it into his maiden Grand Prix win on Sunday – in some style. The dominant win after some good progress this season begs the question: can the number 20 repeat the feat at Assen? Time will tell.

But what of the two biggest title challengers so far? Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) came from P17 on the grid to take a stunning second at the Catalan GP, and he was the winner at Mugello. Now only a point behind Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) in the Championship, the Portuguese rider is in a good position. Bagnaia still holds that slim advantage, but after some tougher races and struggling with fitness, will Oliveira make the tide turn at the ‘Cathedral’?

Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP 40) aren’t too far behind, however – and they’re only a point apart, too. Marquez also got on the podium at Catalunya, and both have had serious speed this season. Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) was the man who finished highest last year, however – with the three on the podium having graduated to MotoGP™. Behind him were Oliveira and Marquez and, in P9, a solid result for then-rookie Fabio Quartararo…

Catalan GP: Moto2™ Full Race

There’s home representation to think about at Assen, too, with rookie Bo Bendsneyder (Tech 3 Racing) looking to impress and take his first points of the season – after coming close twice already this year.

With the top ten, fifteen or even twenty often split by almost nothing in Moto2™, there’s everything to play for every time they go out on track. Who will reign at the ‘Cathedral’? And, crucially, who will leave with the lead?

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