For the Moto2 class this weekend's eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland provides an important opportunity to sign off for an extended summer break with a strong result, as the ninth of 17 rounds of the 2011 campaign takes place at the Sachsenring circuit.
Leading the way by some distance and approaching his home race with one eye on an almost one-month interval after this weekend is Stefan Bradl, the German of the Viessmann Kiefer Racing team who currently holds an impressive 52-point advantage at the top of the Championship. Bradl reinforced his title credentials with a solid second-placed finish last time out at Mugello, bouncing back from his DNF at Assen in style with an ever-strengthening Marc Márquez gaining momentum with a third win of the year in Italy.
Since Grand Prix racing returned to the Sachsenring circuit in 1998 there have been four podium finishes by home riders (one in 250cc, three in 125cc). Bradl has been one of those, having taken second place in the 125 category in 2008, and the 21 year-old will be keen to continue his impressive form in 2011 with at least repeat of that result.
Márquez is a man on a mission however, and the Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol rider became the youngest ever rider to win back-to-back races in the intermediate class with his result at Mugello. At Sachsenring he will be confident of challenging Bradl for victory once again.
Another Moto2 rookie impressing highly is British rider Bradley Smith, the Tech 3 rider who took a third straight podium finish at Mugello. In doing so Smith moved into third position in the Moto2 standings, ahead of Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing), and just three points separate Smith and the Italian.
Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) both finished inside the top six at Mugello and are currently level on Championship points, with Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) close behind. The Italian, who tested the Pramac Racing Ducati machine after Mugello - where he finished fifth in the Moto2 race - will be desperate to make a return to the podium and cut down the gap to the leading Championship riders.
Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) completed a short test at Albacete on Sunday, his first time back on a bike since breaking his leg in the Catalunya GP on June 5th, but there is no indication yet as to whether Sachsenring will see the Spaniard make his comeback. Meanwhile the German round provides MZ Racing with its home race, with Max Neukirchner and Anthony West joined by German rider Arne Tode as a wild card on the MZ. South African Steven Odendaal (MS Racing) will also ride as a wild card in the Moto2 class.