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Each time a rider takes the advantage in the intermediate class championship, their rivals strike back at the next round to re-take the lead. Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP) continue to swap the lead as each wins or has a difficult weekend. Neither was able to finish on the top step in Mugello, but Lowes left as the championship leader thanks to his third place. He arrives at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya with 98 points, just two more than Rins.
While Lowes has never stood on the podium in Barcelona, Rins arrives at his home round with two past second place finishes including one in the Moto2™ race in 2015. Rins had a difficult weekend in Mugello, sent to the back of the grid during the race restart for failing to exit the pits in a timely manner, but recovered to a credible seventh place. The Spaniard clearly has the speed to challenge for the title but just needs to find some more consistency having twice finished outside the top five.
Since taking victory in Qatar, Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) has only once finished on the podium when he was third in France. The Swiss rider has remained a stalwart of the top ten, often battling for the podium in the early stages of a race. Victory and his solid top ten record have him third in the championship, 16 points behind Lowes at the top of the table. Since 2010 Luthi has achieved three podiums in Barcelona, second in both 2010 and 2012 before finishing third in 2013.
But the man of the moment is undoubtedly Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) who took a sensational win in Mugello, besting Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Team) by 0.030s. Some had begun to question the French rider after failing to score at his home round in France, but the 2015 Moto2™ World Champion remains as fast as ever. He’s just a point behind Luthi and only 17 points off Lowes, a mistake from the leading duo and Zarco will be right back with them immediately. In 2015 Zarco won the Catalan GP by 0.426s from Rins, improving on his second place finish from the year before. He’s not about to give up his crown without a fight.
The leading four in the championship certainly arrive as the favourites for the race, but Baldassarri remains as an ever-present threat to the podium. In the past three races he has twice crashed while challenging for a top three finish, finally able to put it all together at home in Mugello to take the best result of his career with second.
Moto2™ riders reflect on mixed day of testing
Teams and riders remained in Mugello for a day of testing on Monday after the race but this was unfortunately affected by weather, several riders going home early.
It’s set to be another wild weekend in the intermediate class in Barcelona, action beginning at 10:55 Local Time on Friday the third of June.
Highlights: Zarco takes second win of season in Moto2™
Re-live the hard fought 10-lap Mugello Moto2™ race to make sure you're up to speed with the state of the championship.
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