Oliveira vs Bagnaia rolls into the Red Bull Ring

It’s a home race for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team and Oliveira arrives ahead

Brno was a big result in the Moto2™ World Championship, and a fitting race for the 150th in the class. Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) led the way in the title fight from the first race until the summer break, but Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) hit back right when it mattered – ahead of both KTM and Red Bull’s home race. That leaves the two men at the top just two points apart heading into the occasion.

Last season, Bagnaia had great rookie form in fourth but it was Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) who was the top finisher of the 2018 grid at the Red Bull Ring, with the 2014 Moto3™ Champion finishing just behind winner and eventual Champion Franco Morbidelli. Meanwhile, Oliveira crashed out – but he was gaining some big ground after a more difficult weekend running up to the race. And he was ahead of Bagnaia at the time…How will the tables turn now? Home pressure can be a help or hindrance, and the chance to strike on enemy territory has propelled many a rider to the top of the podium.

The form book may not tell us anything, however, and Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) is a good example of a rider writing their own plot twists. He began the year in the top ten before a couple of more difficult races and then got hit by injury, but in the last two Grands Prix Marini has been a serious force at the front – taking his first podium before then backing it up by taking Oliveira down to the wire. Not the last lap or even the last corner, but the finish line. On a roll, Marini could prove a joker in the pack for those squabbling for Championship position at the top – as could Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), as he was at the Sachsenring when he took his first ever intermediate class win. 

Will it be a tale of two teams as the home heroes face down their biggest competitors? Or can the likes of Marquez, his rookie teammate Joan Mir, Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP 40) or veteran Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) get back in that fight at the front? Find out from 12:20 (GMT +2) on Sunday 12th August.