After a few rounds of the lead see-sawing between Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) and Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), Silverstone broke the deadlock as some bad luck early in the race saw the Spaniard facing a fight through the field to score points. That he did, but it wasn’t enough to stop him losing some serious ground as Dalla Porta came home third and took command at the top.
So where are we now? Dalla Porta leads by 14 points heading onto home turf at Misano, and to make for even worse reading for Canet, the Riviera di Rimini classic is the venue where the Italian took his first Grand Prix win, last season no less. But Championships are a long game and home pressure, risk vs reward and even luck are far from an easy conundrum to navigate – something to which the riders who are just behind in the title fight can also attest.
Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers), third overall, will have a lot of home support – as will the man just behind him in the standings, Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse). They’re both Grand Prix winners and will be pushing for the top step, keen to mix it up with Dalla Porta and Canet and try to gain back some points. And Silverstone winner Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) has now moved to within a handful of points of Antonelli, so he’s far more than an idle threat. Then there’s the likes of John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers), the latter of which is a previous winner at the venue…
Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46), meanwhile, will be aiming high – and not just in the fight for Rookie of the Year, where he’ll want to pull out more distance ahead of Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia). Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) could be another to watch as the Japanese rider has shown some serious pace this season too, and Italy is akin to home turf for him – and IS home turf for the team. The field is full of winners and potential winners, and Misano is a big prize for so many.
So will Silverstone be the race that swung the Championship when we look back on 2019? Or is another twist just around the corner? Tune in for the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini on the 13th to 15th September to find out.