His advantage remains impressive at the top, but Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) has been more of a top ten points scorer in the last two races. The rookie continues to impress and he did just take his first front row though… and now we return to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, aka much more familiar turf. Even for a rookie. So can he get back on the roll that saw him previously enjoy the biggest leading margin in the Championship at that stage of the season… ever?
The pressure does remain less than some of the whirlwind around the number 37 would suggest, however. He can DNF twice and his teammate would have to win both races for his lead to be cut to nearly nothing… and it would still be his lead. Aforementioned teammate Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) will be keen for the deck to shuffle his way though, and after another podium to put some bad luck to bed he’ll likely be a threat again. Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) likewise, who took his very first podium at the venue in 2018 and arrives off the back of his second taken in Mugello. And can Sergio Garcia (Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team) get back in the mix?
Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) has had speed before his victory too, and he’ll be aiming for more consistency after taking his second win last weekend. Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) is another looking to get back in the groove at the front as he was earlier in the season, and the South African also took his first Grand Prix win at the venue last year, so it’s good turf for him.
One rider with exceptional consistency, however, is Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3). The Japanese rider put in an incredibly impressive ride on Sunday and is now third overall. Showcasing some metronomic ability to run at the front in 2021, the number 71 is converting flashes of speed into a sustained campaign so far. He already has a pole position and podium, just not this season… and the standings say it may be only a matter of time.
The flotilla of home heroes, the veteran Italians up in the mix and the likes of John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) will be keen to make sure they’re in the freight train fight too though, so who will come out on top in Catalunya? Acosta? Masia? Another previous winner? Or for some, will the aim remain the long game?
We’ll find out at 11:20 (GMT +2) on Sunday as Moto3™ rev up in Montmelo.