Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) has had a tougher run of late. Since the last time he won – MotorLand Aragon – he’s lost out pretty big to then-title rival and now Champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing), but there’s one last chance for the Spaniard to go out from 2019 swinging. And where better for that to be than true home turf?
The Valencian arrives 15 points ahead of closest challenger Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers), but Arbolino has lost a little momentum of his own as Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) is now only a single point behind the Italian. Can Canet keep them both at bay? He’s qualified on pole at the venue before and shown some speed, despite the fact he’s not got a glittering record on race day. But then, home turf and a last tango in Moto3™ is more than a little motivation before he moves up.
John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), meanwhile, isn’t quite out of the fight for third either – at least according to the maths. And the maths never lies. The worst the Brit can come out with this year now is his current position of fifth overall, so he can go very much weapons free as he aims for the long shot. But he’ll have some stiff competition: Albert Arenas (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) is on a roll, Jaume Masia (Mugen Race) is from Valencia and on song, SIC58 Squadra Corse duo Niccolo Antonelli and Tatsuki Suzuki can’t be ruled out.
The fight for Rookie of the Year is still on too, and it’s frequently been a fight in the top ten, top five or even for the podium. Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) is on the verge of taking the title, however, with the Italian 24 points clear of nearest rival Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia). For Vietti to lose it then, Ogura would have to win – and the Italian would have to all-but fail to score. And if they’re equal? Then it would come down to the Japanese rider having taken a second place this season and Vietti “only” thirds, but that says one thing clearly at least: they’re both frontrunners and ones to watch.
One more tango awaits the lightweight class in Valencia, with the likes of Dalla Porta and Canet set to make the leap to Moto2™ after a final showdown. Can Canet bounce back to his best on home turf? Will Dalla Porta extend his run? Or will another name rise to the top as has so often happened of late in Moto3™? Find out this weekend as the lights go out for the lightweight class at 11:00 (GMT +1).