The 2018 Moto2 World Championship also nears half-distance on Sunday, with the top three riders covered by 34 points. Twenty-one-year-old Italian Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) leads the way from Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) and Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex).
Bagnaia is enjoying a superb second season in the Honda-powered intermediate class, in which all riders use identically prepared CBR600 engines. He took the checkered flag in Qatar, the USA, France and the Netherlands, and has high hopes of another win at the Sachsenring, where last year he finished a very close third, less than a second behind winner Morbidelli.
The man who beat Bagnaia into second place in Germany last year was Oliveira, who will be keen to score his second win of the season on Sunday. So far the 23-year-old Portuguese has scored one victory in 2018, in Italy, and taken two second-place results at the Spanish and Catalan rounds.
Marquez is yet to make it to the top step of the podium this year. The 22-year-old Spaniard has been mostly very consistent, with five podium finishes from the first eight races, including third-place results at the last two.
Jerez Moto2 winner Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40 Kalex) stands fourth in the points standings, ahead of top rookie Joan Mir (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex), the reigning Moto3 World Champion who won last year’s Moto3 race at the Sachsenring.
Next in the Moto2 standings are Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM), but the man on the move is Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up Racing Speed Up), who has moved up from 12th to eighth overall at the last two races. The 19-year-old Frenchman won his first Grand Prix at Barcelona-Catalunya last month and followed that with second place at Assen, thanks to improvements to his chassis.
The current top ten is completed by Argentine Grand Prix winner Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) and Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter), who will be aiming for his first-ever podium finish at his home race. The 25-year-old from southern Germany has achieved three fourth-place finishes at the last four races, so he has a good chance of fighting for the top three this Sunday.