After another classic Moto2™ thriller in Jerez, during which Spanish youngster Pol Espargaró took his maiden victory in the Moto2 class, the riders are set to continue their battle at the Gran Prémio de Portugal Circuito Estoril this weekend.
Moto2 was the only class to be affected by rain during the Spanish GP, cutting the race short after 19 laps, after which Espargaró was declared the winner. Championship leader, Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol´s Marc Márquez, who finished the race in second, will be hoping to continue his strong form so far this season. Estoril was a race for him to forget last year, as he finished in 21st. Yet with the pace he has shown so far, he is no doubt one of the favourites.
Interwetten-Paddock rider Tom Lüthi has not managed to get the better of Marquez yet this season, though continuously strong performances and a third place in Jerez will see him in high spirits for the Portuguese round. Marc VDS riders Scott Redding and Mika Kallio were in the hunt for podiums as well, and are starting to gel with their new Kalex bikes. With Kallio recording a DNF last year and Redding far down the order, both will be looking to make amends this time out.
Pons 40 HP Tuenti´s Espargaró, now second in the World Championship, has not only his maiden win to give him a boost, but also a sixth place last year at the difficult track. Estoril´s 2011 podium contenders, Avintia Blusens' Julián Simón and NGM Mobile Forward Racing´s Yuki Takahashi have both not fared particularly well this year, but a new chassis for Simón from the last round may see a reversal in fortunes for the Spaniard.
JiR Moto2 rookie, Johann Zarco, who impressed with some stunning wet weather performances in Jerez practice sessions, will undoubtedly be hoping for rain this weekend, as he placed his bike first in both wet sessions. Speed Master´s Andrea Ianonne, who shone in Qatar with a very close second, yet fell under the radar in Spain, is still fifth in the championship and will be looking for a strong showing to get his title challenge back on course.
World Championship Standings Moto2™
1- Marc Márquez - SPA - Suter - 45
2- Pol Espargaró - SPA - Kalex - 41
3- Thomas Luthi - SWI - Suter - 27
4- Scott Redding - GBR - Kalex - 23
5- Andrea Iannone - ITA - Speed Up - 22