Five riders, one Moto3™ World Championship. The pendulum swung again at Assen with Dutch GP race winner Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) taking the reins at the top of the standings. But he’s not alone, with just 24 points splitting first to fifth place Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) as we head to the Sachsenring for Round 9.
Martin emerged victorious from the five-rider battle in the Netherlands that involved four of the five overall standings leaders - a win that propelled him two-points ahead of main Championship rival Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PrustelGP) after the Italian crashed out on the last lap. Now, the Spaniard returns to the scene of last year’s nasty right tibia and ankle breaking crash in FP2 at the Sachsenring, looking to consolidate his title lead as the paddock heads into the summer break.
Bezzecchi’s last lap Assen heartbreak meant his 23-point lead was diminished, but the Italian has only been off the podium three times this year as he revisits the Sachsenring – a track where he picked up one of his four-point scoring riders in 2017. Meanwhile, it’s been a trickier couple of rounds for third place in the Championship Fabio Di Giananntonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), but the consistency of the Italian this year has seen him remain just 14 points off his teammate – can ‘DiGi’ add to his podium tally on German soil?
Both Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) and Canet stood on the podium at the Dutch GP to keep themselves within touching distance of Martin in the title race. Bastianini backed up his Catalan GP win with third at Assen and having secured two podiums in the last three years in Germany, you can fully expect the Italian to be up the sharp end again this weekend. Canet on the other hand didn’t manage to score last year at the Sachsenring, but rebounded from his unfortunate Barcelona crash this year with a fantastic second in the Netherlands – will the 24-point deficit shrink before the summer break?
Elsewhere, Jerez winner Philipp Oettl (Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing) will be hoping to get his season back on track in front of his home crowd. The German is currently on his worst run in the lightweight class having scored just one-point since his famous Spanish GP triumph, but Oettl finished P5 at the Sachsenring last year and has scored points in all but two of his visits to Saxony.
The German faithful will also have wildcard Luca Grünwald (Freudenberg Racing Team) to cheer on, winner of the WorldSSP 300 race at Assen this season.
Two questions will be answered this weekend: who will surface as Sachsenring’s winner? And who will take the Championship advantage into the second half of the Moto3™ season?