In the last seven races, Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) has been crashed out once through no fault of his own and beaten only once. His form is on fire, his lead is 43 points and he's shown good speed at Silverstone before. So can anyone do what Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) did in Austria?
Alex Marquez outlines the key factors to his Moto2™ mastery
On the face of it, it's good news for the field that Binder beat Marquez. But Binder is seventh in the Championship and 72 points off the number 73, so in some ways Marquez can afford to control that risk and play the long game. With his advantage, though, that's almost true of every race...although things can change quickly if momentum swings.
That's certainly what Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) will be hoping. It's been a tougher two races since the summer break and the gap has shot out again, with the Swiss rider still the man closest to Marquez in the standings but that now meaning 43 points in arrears. He is a Moto2™ winner at Silverstone though - something Marquez is not - after he won in 2016, and he was only 0.057 off the win in 2010 too. Can Lüthi start the fight back now?
In 10 mins: Austrian GP Moto2™ highlights
Between Lüthi and Binder in the standings there are plenty of fast faces too: Jorge Navarro (Campetella Speed Up), Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) and his teammate Lorenzo Baldassarri, Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP)...can they get in Marquez' way? Some have the ace card of consistency, some have destroyed the field this year...
Then there are the home heroes. Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) is a man who has fought at the front at Silverstone before and shown some awesome speed, with the number 22 having taken two poles at the track. He'll be on it on home turf. Rookie Jake Dixon (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) will want to add to his points haul as a minimum as well and, especially if its wet, will also be one to watch.
Moto2™ Red Bull Ring Official Test rider round-up
And what of Bradley Smith? The number 38 is racing in his third class of the year replacing the injured Khairul Idham Pawi at Petronas Sprinta Racing, taking on a huge challenge to jump straight into Moto2™ during a race weekend on machinery that's changed an awful lot since he last raced it. How will he fare? He'll have huge support guaranteed, and a lot of eyes will be on the premier class podium finisher to see how quickly he can get up to speed.
Silverstone is a very different challenge to Austria and one of the fastest and longest tracks of the year. Who will tame the beast in 2019? Moto2™ go racing at the slightly later time of 14:30 (GMT +1) in the UK.
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