It’s becoming a tradition of sorts for Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) to win the race when he’s qualified on pole, and that was no different on his home turf at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Sublime from lights out to take another victory and extend his lead to eight points, he was very much back in the driving seat – but it’s far from as easy as it looks.
Pressure came from the home crowd as well as Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) at Misano. It wasn’t a bad Sunday for the Portuguese rider, who qualified in the top ten and then came home second after a stunning start, and that made for some impressive damage limitation. He’s also got some real form venues coming towards the end of the season – he won the final three rounds in a row last year – and choosing when to attack and when to defend can be important. But can that gap be allowed to grow much more? MotorLand could be decisive, but at least he took a podium there last year.
There’s more to Moto2™ than those two, however. Two big names riding on home turf at Aragon are Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and rookie teammate Joan Mir. Marquez’ record at MotorLand is mighty and he needs some points – crashing out at Misano through no fault of his own – and Mir won the Moto3™ race at the venue last season. They could prove a serious force to be reckoned with – as could Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), now third in the Championship, Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP 40), home hero Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP) and veteran Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team), who had a stunner there last season.
Finally, how will Marcel Schrötter’s (Dynavolt Intact GP) form change now he’s taken his first podium? Will he now be another fast complication for those fighting for the crown? The German has been consistently quick but he now has a rostrum to build from. Make sure to tune in and see, as all will be revealed on Sunday 23rd September from 12:20 (GMT +2).