2011 Moto2: Estoril Preview
After only two rounds of the 2011 World Championship season, the Moto2 category has already provided plenty of excitement, and more promises to pour forth at Round 3 in Estoril, Portugal, this weekend.
Italian Andrea Iannone is the early Moto2 standings leader after taking victory in the wet at Jerez last time out, and the Speed Master team rider will aim to maintain and stretch his lead at the top after hitting his stride immediately in 2011.
Hot on his heels however are two Moto2 riders who have also enjoyed strong starts to the campaign in the shape of Stefan Bradl and Thomas Luthi, who are currently level on points.
German rider Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) won the season opener in Qatar and was the victor at Estoril last season so will be confident of pushing at the front, whilst Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) has registered podium finishes in the two rounds of the season so far.
Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) and Alex de Angelis have both had encouraging starts to the season, the former scoring a podium in Jerez and the latter having stood on the rostrum at Estoril in last year’s race, whilst Moto2 rookie Bradley Smith’s first two races in the category on board the Tech 3 machine have made a distinct impression and the Brit was a podium finisher in the 125 class at the Portuguese track for the past two seasons.
Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar) will be hungry for a first top-three result of 2011 whilst for fellow Spaniard Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) the aim will be some first Moto2 points, after the reigning 125 World Champion experienced a tough introduction to the class in the opening two rounds.
Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) will be determined to pin down his first points of the season, as will Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP) who made such an impact in his World Championship debut as a wildcard in this race last season. Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing) will look to mark his 150th GP start with a memorable result, as he becomes the first Finnish rider ever to reach the milestone.
South African rider Steven Odendaal will again ride on a Suter for the MS Racing outfit as a wildcard entry, after debuting at Jerez.
Moto2 Championship Standings
|5.||Alex DE ANGELIS||Motobi||RSM||22|
|6.||Bradley SMITH||Tech 3||GBR||20|
|12.||Max NEUKIRCHNER||MZ-RE Honda||GER||7|
|14.||Anthony WEST||MZ-RE Honda||AUS||5|
|15.||Aleix ESPARGARO||Pons Kalex||SPA||5|