Moto2: Can Luca Marini Strengthen Title Charge in Le Mans?
Moto2 heads to what looks to be a very cold and potentially wet French Grand Prix in Le Mans, however, due to a clash with the German F1 Grand Prix, the middle-class race will come after the MotoGP race, will this change the outcome of the tenth round of the season?
Championship Leader, SKY Racing VR46’s Luca Marini is in control of the championship with three wins this season and a further two second-place finishes. However, this might be a track limitation round for Luca as his track record at Le Mans is not to be desired, having a best finish of 12th in 2016 and a best qualifying of fourth in 2017, and last year came away with a 13th place finish. Marini has shown good pace every circuit they’ve been to so far, can he keep the momentum for his charge at his first world title, or will his past form stop him in his tracks?
The man second in the standings, Italtrans’ Enea Bastianini, is 20 points off Marini after losing out 15 points to the VR46 Academy rider in Barcelona. Enea has also had three wins this season and had a further two third-place finishes. It’s been back and forth between the two Italians for the title since the Andalusian GP, Bastianini managed a seventh-place finish last year in his rookie season, so signs are promising that his result for this year will improve as the track conditions will look likely to be quite similar.
Luca Marini’s team-mate Marco Bezzecchi is the most improved rider this year after having a best finish of 10th position last year to now being a regular podium and race-winning contender. Marco has one win under his belt from the Styrian GP and has taken three podiums. Bezzecchi has shown good speed at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit from 2018 in Moto3, fighting for the win until a highside at the penultimate corner crushed his winning hopes, can Bezzecchi continue his fast pace to challenge for victory in France?
Marc VDS rider Sam Lowes has been on a surge to return to the form he had from 2015 and 2016, and he has taken 3 podiums this season, coming extremely close in Barcelona after leading the race for five laps until Marini was able to pass him at turn one and charge to victory. Sam is currently winless in 2020, but he’s always shown strong pace. Can the Brit conquer Le Mans?
The Petronas Sprinta Racing Team have been showing really good form in the past few races, with Spaniard Xavi Vierge showing some good race pace, getting a fifth and fourth position in the Styrian and San Marino Grands Prix, Xavi has been the victim of crashes in the past two rounds, can he put this behind him to get his first podium of the season?
His team-mate Jake Dixon has been on a great run of form recently as the Brit continues to improve round by round, with Jake securing his best qualifying finish to-date in Barcelona, starting fifth. His race pace has also improved finishing sixth in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and was running in sixth in Catalunya until his throttle cable snapped on lap five coming out of turn seven. Can Dixon continue his momentum and keep fighting for the top five?
Lorenzo Dalla Porta has been showing signs of improvement over the season so far, the team-mate to Enea Bastianini hasn’t been the quickest rookie to get the grips with the 765cc three Cylinder Triumph engine, but he’s starting to make progress with being in Q2 for the first time in Misano, he’s only had two points finishes so far this season at both Misano meetings with 13th and 14th position. Le Mans was one of many podium places the Moto3 champion got last year, can he adapt to the Kalex and be able to produce his best result of the season so far?
Who will win the French Grand Prix in Le Mans? And who will lead the championship heading to Aragon? Find out this weekend when the lights go out at 14:30 (GMT+2)
Featured Image: SKY Racing Team VR46