With the summer holidays now over, the FIM CEV Repsol is back in action this weekend at the crucial sixth event of the season at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal, which opens the way to the final stretch of the season that will take us to Jerez and Valencia.
To briefly review what happened in the last round of the FIM CEV Repsol in Albacete: Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA-Husqvarna) and Steven Odendaal (RSA-Kalex) were victors in the Moto3™ and Moto2™ races respectively, with Maximilian Scheib (CHI-BMW) and Carmelo Morales (SPA-Yamaha) sharing wins in the Superbike category, which the Yamaha Laglisse rider currently leads.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA-Husqvarna) heads the Moto3™ Junior World Championship, a comfortable 36 points ahead of Marcos Ramírez (SPA-KTM) in second, with Kaito Toba (JPN-Honda) third on 63 points. The Italian Laglisse Academy rider was confirmed as new rider for the ASPAR Mahindra Team Moto3 for 2017 last week, replacing Romano Fenati in the SKY Racing Team VR46 from the next race in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Marcos Ramírez and Albert Arenas are also making the move to the World Championship: Ramírez joining the Platinum Bay Real State team in place of Danny Webb, and Albert Arenas the Peugeot MC Saxoprint team. We'll see if there are surprises in store in Portugal, since the top three on the overall leaderboard have shared the wins so far wins in Moto3™: four for the Italian (the last three in a row), two for the Spanish Leopard Junior Stratos rider, and one for the Japanese Asia Talent Team member.
In the Moto3™ Production class Aleix Viu (SPA-Honda) - second in the Red Bull Rookies Cup - still leads with nine points between him and Valencian rider Hector Garzó (SPA-Honda).
In the Moto2™ European Championship Steven Odendaal (RSA-Kalex) has 48 points – almost two races - on hand over his nearest rival Frenchman Alan Techer (FRA-NTS TPRO) and 51 over Tetsuta Nagashima (JPN-Kalex). The South African AGR Team rider has won four of the seven races so far and has only been absent from the podium on one occasion – the first race at Barcelona where he was sidelined by a puncture.
Portuguese rider Ivo Paixao (POR-Kawasaki) rides this weekend at home as leader of the Superstock 600 class with 115 points to his credit against the 92 points of Frenchman Thibaut Gourin (FRA-Yamaha) in second place.
Carmelo Morales (SPA-Yamaha) arrives in Portugal having just taken the leadership of the Superbike European Championship in the last round in Albacete. The reigning champion recovered from having to pull out of the first race of the season in Valencia by winning four out of the five races since then and taking second in the first race at Albacete, where he beat Maximilian Scheib (CHI-BMW) to head the overall standings. Scheib is now just seven points behind the Catalan Yamaha Laglisse rider.
In privateers, the Finnish Leopard Yamaha Stratos rider Niko Mäkinen (FIN-Yamaha) is the man to beat with a five-point lead over Valencian CRT Motorsport rider Oscar Climent (SPA-Yamaha), with the Portuguese rider Tiago Magalhães (POR-Kawasaki) third, 22 points behind the leader.
The double program in Moto2™ and Superbike this weekend could be decisive, with Carmelo Morales looking to strengthen his grip on the Superbike European Championship, and Steven Odendaal’s rivals working hard to reduce the South African’s advantage in the Moto2™ European Championship.
Sunday’s race schedule is as follows:
Superbike (17 laps): 11.00h
Moto2™ (17 laps): 12.00h
Moto3™ (16 laps): 13.00h
Superbike (17 laps): 14.00h
Moto2™ (17 laps): 15.00h
Access to the public areas will be free over the weekend. However, access to the paddock (and to take part in the Pit Lane walk on Sunday) will require a paddock pass. The meeting point will be at the end of boxes between 10.10h and 10.20h.
In Spain, the races can be viewed live on the Movistar MotoGP channel which will broadcast all the races scheduled in the Moto3™ Junior World Championship, Moto2™ European Championship and Superbike European Championship categories. BT Sports (Great Britain) and Eurosport via Eurosportplayer (France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands) also offer coverage of the Moto3™ Junior World Championship, Moto2™ European Championship and Superbike European Championship with live broadcasts of each of the races through their digital network. In Italy, Sky will broadcast live the Moto3™ Junior World Championship race and both the Moto2™ European Championship races.
In addition, all the races can be seen live on the Championship’s Youtube channel.