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.

Francesco Bagnaia

Francesco Bagnaia 42

“We are coming from a really positive weekend in Assen: we managed to be competitive and reopen the gap in the championship between me and Miguel. Sachsenring will be the last GP before the summer break and it will be important to stay focused and hit a good result to enjoy the holidays and recharge the batteries for the second half of the season. The track is the shortest of the championship and will be a very long race but, at the same time, really hard: the layout is particularly challenging.”

SKY Racing Team VR46
Miguel Oliveira

Miguel Oliveira 44

“This weekend will be very important for the championship. After a win and a second in Italy and in Catalunya, we need to get back on the podium again on Sunday. This will not be easy because Sachsenring is such a tight and short track that you have to be at 100 percent of your performance to be able to fight for the podium. This is what we will work towards during practice and qualifying, as we always do.”

Red Bull KTM Ajo
Alex Marquez

Alex Marquez 73

“Last year was not a very good weekend for me at the Sachsenring because I injured my back. But at least I was fast and leading the race in the early stages. The main target again looking ahead to this weekend is to be fast and consistent. I want to be stronger on Friday to start my preparations in a more positive way but I am 100% determined to be battling for the podium because it will be important to take some confidence and momentum into the summer break.”

EG 0,0 Marc VDS
GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland

Sachsenring, Germany

Moto2 2018, Round 9

Rider Standings
Sunday, 1 Jul 2018 - Open world standings grid
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Francesco BAGNAIA 42 ITA 144 SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex
2 Miguel OLIVEIRA 44 POR 128 Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM
3 Alex MARQUEZ 73 SPA 110 EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex
4 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI 7 ITA 93 Pons HP40 Kalex
5 Joan MIR 36 SPA 75 EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex
6 Xavi VIERGE 97 SPA 70 Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex
7 Brad BINDER 41 RSA 66 Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM
8 Fabio QUARTARARO 20 FRA 65 Beta Tools – Speed Up Racing Speed Up
9 Mattia PASINI 54 ITA 63 Italtrans Racing Team Kalex
10 Marcel SCHROTTER 23 GER 63 Dynavolt Intact GP Suter
11 Iker LECUONA 27 SPA 32 Swiss Innovative Investors KTM
12 Sam LOWES 22 GBR 28 Swiss Innovative Investors KTM
13 Luca MARINI 10 ITA 27 SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex
14 Andrea LOCATELLI 5 ITA 27 Italtrans Racing Team Kalex
15 Dominique AEGERTER 77 SWI 22 Kiefer Racing KTM
16 Simone CORSI 24 ITA 21 Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Kalex
17 Jorge NAVARRO 9 SPA 17 Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex
18 Remy GARDNER 87 AUS 15 Tech 3 Racing Tech 3
19 Hector BARBERA 40 SPA 10 Pons HP40 Kalex
20 Romano FENATI 13 ITA 9 Marinelli Snipers Team Kalex
21 Isaac VIñALES 32 SPA 7 SAG Team Kalex
22 Stefano MANZI 62 ITA 6 Forward Racing Team Kalex
23 Augusto FERNANDEZ 40 SPA 6 Pons HP40 Kalex
24 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA 45 JPN 6 IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex
25 Danny KENT 52 GBR 4 Beta Tools – Speed Up Racing Speed Up
26 Khairul Idham PAWI 89 MAL 2 IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex
27 Joe ROBERTS 16 USA 2 NTS RW Racing GP NTS
28 Steven ODENDAAL 4 RSA 1 NTS RW Racing GP NTS
29 Bo BENDSNEYDER 64 NDL 1 Tech 3 Racing Tech 3