The Grand Prix season passes one-third distance this weekend, with the battle for the Honda CBR600-powered Moto2 World Championship intensifying with every race. Twenty-one-year-old Italian Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) has a lead of just 13 points over Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM), who won last time out at Mugello, while Bagnaia rode to a close fourth place, despite arm-pump issues that hindered his progress.
Oliveira’s first win of 2018, which followed a season-ending hat-trick last year, suggests that the 23-year-old Portuguese is once again finding his best form. And he has pace at Barcelona-Catalunya, where last June he finished third, behind Luthi and winner Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex).
Marquez – Marc’s younger brother – stands fourth in the points chase, behind Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40 Kalex), who chased home Oliveira at Mugello, just ahead of Joan Mir (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) and Bagnaia. The top four were covered by less than half a second. And Mir’s third place was the rookie’s second consecutive podium.
Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) is seventh overall, just one point behind Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter), after crashing out of the lead at Mugello. The Moto2 top ten is completed by Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM), Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter) and Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovative Investors KTM).