MotoGP Misano II: Moto2 race weekend preview

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Picture: GeeBee Images

The gap is smaller than ever, Raul Fernandez is on a roll and last time in Italy, it got close. After an earthquake in the standings at the Americas GP, it’s time for Moto2 to get back on track at Misano.

The gap, after another stunner from the Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie in Texas and a first real mistake of the season from teammate and Championship leader Remy Gardner, is now just nine points, and the rollercoaster seems likely to continue in the Gran Premio Nolan del Made In Italy e dell’Emilia-Romagna.

Looking back on the San Marino GP as a guide to what may await us on take two, it’s a tantalising possibility. Until the latter half of the very last lap, it was almost nothing between Fernandez and Gardner as the Aussie gained huge chunks of time right before the flag, one solitary wobble putting paid to a last gasp lunge. So the two could be closely matched once again, and if Gardner has less work to do in the early stages from a slightly better qualifying, it could be a serious treat. Added to that, there’s no playing it safe now, with the margin having been cut by 25 points in one fell swoop.

If the two do duel it out, they could have some company. Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team) impressed on our first visit to Misano to complete the podium and run at the front, and he’ll want to repeat that as he slips out of the top five overall. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) will want more too, the Brit coming under pressure from the same rider who’s leapfrogged Canet, his Elf Marc VDS teammate Augusto Fernandez. Home rider Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) has his final, final stand to stay in contention for the crown too, 65 points off Gardner with 75 left in play.

For some serious final fireworks at the San Marino GP, one more lap could have seen everything change. Now, we have another 25 to enjoy in the Gran Premio Nolan del Made In Italy e dell’Emilia-Romagna… so can Gardner bounce back and come out swinging? Or will Raul Fernandez find another ace on the Rimini Riviera?