Lorenzo Baldassarri vs the United States of America

COTA hasn’t traditionally been a top track for the Championship leader. Will that change in 2019?

50 points, a 100% win rate and a top job on tactics has seen Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) take an early hold on the 2019 Moto2™ World Championship but next up it’s a venue that hasn’t seen the Italian enjoy much success: the Circuit of the Americas. His only result inside the top twenty at the track came last season as he took tenth, but that was then and this is now. Pace and confidence are nine-tenths of the victory, so can Baldassarri finally take on Texas and win in 2019?

With a cast of potential and proven rivals, it’s going to be more mountain than molehill. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) is a former polesitter, took second last year after challenging eventual winner Francesco Bagnaia and bothered the podium battle the year before. That battle was one that saw Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) play a big role as he took second in it, making it one apiece for two of the biggest names in the field. Dominique Aegerter (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward), who makes his 200th start this weekend, is the other rider who’s previously been on the podium at COTA – albeit on different machinery. And there’s only one man still on the grid who has a race win in Austin to his name: Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2).

Lowes crashed out in Argentina after showing good pace – just like and just next to Lüthi – but the Brit was almost two seconds clear when he took victory in the Americas GP in 2015. 2016 saw Lowes take another podium, too, so the form book says he’ll be one to watch.

So can Marquez build on his podium form? Can Lüthi and Lowes bounce back? Can the newer frontrunners on the block like first time podium finisher in Argentina, Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team), keep their pace rolling? And what of home hero, Joe Roberts (American Team KTM), racing on home turf? It’s a place he knows better than many.

Tune in to the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas on Sunday 14th April to see who can lay down the law as Moto2™ go racing at 12:20 (GMT -5).