When former points leader Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) broke his wrist on Friday at the Czech GP, another shockwave went through the Moto3™ World Championship and nearest challenger Marco Bezzecchi (Redox Pruestel GP) was left with something of an open goal. But it was far from an easy task to make big gains after the Italian had a tougher weekend than many he’d enjoyed so far this year, eventually taking sixth from 14th on the grid and only just taking over at the head of the table.
Three points is the advantage the Italian now holds as we get ready to race at the Red Bull Ring. Will Martin be able to ride? He’ll need to be passed fit on Thursday and even then the challenge will be an uphill struggle if he’s to take on the whole weekend and score. Bezzecchi will have a keen eye trained on his rival.
Meanwhile, we have a new race winner. Martin’s teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio, who crossed the line first in Le Mans but was subsequently given a time penalty, finally took his first Grand Prix win as he outclassed the field for victory. Those 25 points were also a big boost and move him up to third in the Championship – 17 off the lead and 14 off his teammate. That’s not an unsurmountable gap.
Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) is another who knows that, having come second to ‘Diggia’ but taken an important 20 points. Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) isn’t so far off in fifth, either, and with the swinging pendulum of momentum this season and 225 points still up for grabs, anything is possible. Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) could also be a force to be reckoned with at the Red Bull Ring having taken second last season, which was his best result at the time. And for the Bavarian, it’s not home turf but it is the track closest to it – with the Sachsenring far, far away in the north east of Germany.
All of Bezzecchi’s closest rivals took solid results in Austria last year, and Martin was on the podium. The number 12, however, crashed out – and early on. Will that play on his mind? Or will the incredible twists and turns of the season so far prove enough for the Italian to be able come out swinging once again – and increase that lead?
We’ll find out on the 12th August at 11:00 local time (GMT +2), when the lights go out for the lightweight class.