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Hit Mir with your best shot

Championship leader has a definite target on his back as Assen awaits

After another stunning and studied victory for Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) in the Catalan GP, the Majorcan is squarely in the sights of his rivals as they bid to stay in touch with him. The gap at the top is now 45 points – so to start reeling him in, it’s now or never.

Next in the standings after a well-fought P2 in Barcelona is Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers). With two top fives at the venue before, the Italian is confident ahead of the event – as are his rivals. Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) got another podium in Catalunya, too – and claimed another pole – and will be reset and ready to push once more for his first win.

Most of the top ten last year at the Dutch GP have been some of the key challengers this season so far. Behind race winner Francesco Bagnaia – now in Moto2™ - Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), Mugello winner Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46), Fenati, Mir and Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) all had good races, making good reading for the grid ahead of the 2017 event. Wet it may have been, but wet is something Assen always can be.

Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders Aron Canet and Enea Bastianini will be joining John McPhee (British Talent Team) looking to improve last year’s results after they had tough races, as will RBA BOE Racing Team’s Juanfran Guevara and Gabriel Rodrigo. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) will also be a key contender looking for more, despite an impressive rookie P9 at his home GP last year. Now a sophomore, Bendseyder will want to make a bigger impression in 2017.

It’s now an uphill climb for those on the chase – but the task is at least simple to define: beat Joan Mir. They’ll be heading out to try and do that on Friday at 9:00 (GMT +2) for FP1, with the race on Sunday at 11:00.