For the first part of 2019, Moto2™ seemed like it was going to be the most unpredictable Championship this season. But then came Alex Marquez’ (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) roll of indomitable form, winning every race since – and including – the French GP, with the sole exception of crashing out the lead in Assen through no fault of his own. And despite that drama, as well as a P24 in Jerez, again through no fault of his own, the number 73 sits eight points clear as we head into the second part of the Championship. “Shoulda woulda coulda” is often something to avoid in racing, but this is a case where it merits the question: how big could that gap have been?
The bad news for the competition is that Marquez has a good record at Brno and has had since he got a first glimpse at the podium fight in his rookie year in the intermediate class. The good news is that no one is ever unbeatable, and he’s never won there. Even more good news for key challenger Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) is that the Swiss rider has. It may have been a shortened race in the wet, but it was an impressive performance nonetheless and the veteran’s CV at the venue doesn’t stop there.
The next man up is Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) and he could be a key threat, with his incredible step forward in 2019 making it hard to rule him out of a challenge at the front. And he’s now ahead of teammate Lorenzo Baldassarri in the standings, so the man who dominated early on this season has some bouncing back to do. Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) will want to be back on the podium and knocking on the door to that first win too, as will Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP), and Mattia Pasini comes in from Brno at Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2…can the veteran Italian get in the mix? And then, finally, what of Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo)? The South African had a tough start to the year but it appears the Austrian factory are back on track. Will he be a force to be reckoned with at Brno?
Whatever happens, it’s Marquez who arrives with the target on his back. Will he keep it into Austria as the second half of the season comes thick and fast? Find out on Sunday 4th August at 12:20 (GMT +2).