Moto2: Sam Lowes Looks to Extend Championship Lead as Moto2 Heads to the Last Triple Header of the Season
Sam Lowes has been on top form for the past four races, leading the championship by seven points ahead of Enea Bastianini, 23 points ahead of Luca Marini and 48 points ahead of Marco Bezzecchi. However, as Moto2 heads to a wet and cold Valencia, will the mixed forecast at Circuit Ricardo Tormo Valencia play a part in proceedings?
Sam has had reasonable form at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo Valencia Circuit with a best finish of fourth place in 2016. Sam’s never finished on the podium at this circuit. Can the Brit rectify his podium-less record at Valencia, like he has done many times so far this season?
Enea Bastianini has done the best at limiting the damage of Sam’s three race wins out of the three Italian riders challenging Sam Lowes for the Moto 2 title. Enea has had two podiums finishes in the past two races, ensuring himself to have the best chance to fight for the Moto 2 title until the final round. Enea’s form at Valencia is very consistent with three top-five finishes, with a best finish of fourth position in 2016. However last season, he finished in a dismal 14th position, he can’t afford to replicate a similar finish if he’s to fight Sam Lowes and defend the attack from the two SKY VR46 bikes. Enea struggled in mixed weather conditions in Le Mans, achieving an 11th place finish after receiving a penalty but actually crossed the line in ninth position. The Italian will be looking to take a step forward to ensure he’s competitive in Valencia.
It’s been three races to forget for former championship leader Luca Marini, who looked to have a comfortable lead and the form to maintain the lead of the championship. However having suffered bad luck in Le Mans, suffering a left ankle injury and struggling in the mixed weather conditions, Luca finished the race pointless. Marini then crashed out in the Aragon Grand Prix and managed to salvage an 11th place finish in the Teruel Grand Prix. The Italian will need to reset over this break and return to the form he had at Misano and Catalunya to have his best chance at winning his first World Championship. His form in wet conditions have mostly been strong, but in the mixed conditions of Le Mans he struggled for pace, so Luca will be looking for either a dry or fully wet race to have his best chance to claw back the points he’s lost over the three previous rounds.
With two laps to go of the Aragon Grand Prix, Marco Bezzecchi looked set to take the championship lead for the first time in Moto 2; however, it was not meant to be for the SKY VR46 rider as he was caught out by turn two and started his downward spiral in form, as he would struggle in qualifying and then crashed out of race two, at turn one on lap four. With Marco now 48 points behind Sam, it’s a must-win situation for the Italian to keep in the title hunt. If Lowes beats him and the Brit is inside the top four that would knock Bezzecchi out of the title hunt. Marco will need to start Friday in strong form and be able to maintain that form over the next two rounds at Valencia to stand any chance of going to the final round less than 25 points behind the championship leader. Can Bezzecchi return to the top step of the podium for the second time in his Moto 2 career?
Fabio Di Giannantonio has returned to a great run of form since Catalunya, after struggling for most of the season, Fabio has been able to turn his form around to show great pace at the end of the season and will look to be the fly in the ointment disturbing the title contenders as they battle out for the vital points-paying positions. Fabio is winless in Moto2 currently but has shown great promise of race wins at the Aragon Grand Prix 2020 before crashing out at turn two, and in Misano 2019 where Augusto Fernandez overtook him at turn 14, who used the green to his advantage to gain the momentum to pass Fabio. With three races left, can Fabio Di Giannantonio take his first win in Moto 2?
Remy Gardner has been able to turn around his bad run of form and has started to become now a regular top-five contender for both qualifying and the race, having finished inside the top five; four times in the last five rounds, including a second and third-place finish at Le Mans and in Styria. Remy is currently sixth in the championship standings 20 points off Jorge Martin. Can the Australian close down the gap to the Spaniard to finish the season inside the top five?
Jake Dixon has continued to impress over the past seven rounds, continuously improving round-by-round. With the weather looking to be mixed, can Jake use his experience from British Superbikes running in mixed weather conditions to be able to take his first podium in his Grand Prix career? He was destined for a possible victory and a certain podium finish in Le Mans before crashing out at turn 14 on lap 31. Can the Brit continue his strong form to finish the season off on a high with a podium finish?
The Moto2 title fight hots up in the first if two Valencia races, the race will take place at 12:20 (GMT+2). Will we have a new winner for this season, or will one of the title contenders stand their ground?
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