Another weekend, another win. Alex Marquez (EG0,0 Marc VDS) obliterated Brno, and even worse news for those closest to him in the standings was the two rookies who followed him home: Fabio Di Giannantonio (Beta Tools Speed Up) and Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team), who were on incredible form to take their first podiums in the intermediate class. Because after a crash for Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) to boot, Marquez has a 33-point lead and some serious momentum.
So who can take the fight to the Championship leader? Last year Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) did for the podium, with Marquez dramatically crashing out at the final corner in their battle. Marini is one of only three riders in the class, along with Marquez and Lüthi, who has a podium in Austria. He’s also one of only two riders, along with Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP), who’s scored in every race this year. Can any of them upset the steamroller? Or what about Brno’s impressive rookies? Can they keep their momentum going?
There’s also Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) and Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) who are equal on points in third and fourth in the Championship respectively, and both have been key threats at times this season. And what about Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40)? He ruled the early part of the season and has now slipped down to sixth overall. Can he take home a bigger haul of points from the Red Bull Ring?
At the Red Bull Ring, though, the clue is in the name as to who will probably be pushing the hardest: Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder. He took two podiums before the summer break and the South African will want to bounce back from a crash at Brno in some style at the home race for both the team’s title sponsor and manufacturer KTM. His teammate, Jorge Martin, will also be looking for some glory after the exploits of his fellow rookies last time out.
The freight train Marquez rolls on to the Red Bull Ring with the number 73 very much in the driving seat ahead of the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich. Can his rivals haul him back in? Find out on Sunday 11th August.