Courtesy of MotoGP
As the World Championship hits Europe for the first time in 2014 the riders in the Moto2™ class are looking forward to the atmosphere of the Gran Premio bwin de España, with a home favourite having emerged as a strong title contender over the first three rounds.
Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) has started the year with a bang, taking victories in Qatar and Argentina, achieving a haul of 70 points from the maximum possible 75, to leave his opponents trailing in his wake. Rabat’s goal in Jerez will be another win from pole position, though his rivals will be doing everything they can to stop him.
Closest to 2013 Jerez race winner Rabat in the early 2014 championship standings is his teammate Mika Kallio, who became the first Finnish rider to reach the milestone of 200 Grand Prix starts in Argentina. Kallio is 28 points adrift of Rabat and aims for his first victory since Brno last year to try and reduce the deficit.
Third in the standings is rookie Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40) who crashed out in Argentina and was therefore unable to build on his marvellous Austin victory.
The Moto3™ World Champion had been outshining his teammate, compatriot and fellow debutant Luis Salom (Pons HP 40) before the trip to Termas de Rio Hondo, but Salom’s excellent ride to third at the new South American venue will fill him with confidence.
Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing) hustled his way to a third successive fifth place at round three and strives to convert that consistency into a podium result in Jerez. Another consistent rider, Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert), sits just behind Corsi in the standings so far, but he wants to step onto the rostrum more often having finished third in Austin just over two weeks ago.
Aegerter’s compatriot Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2), Argentina runner-up Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), the experienced Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team), the aforementioned Salom and English newcomer Sam Lowes (Speed Up) complete the championship top ten going into round four. Expect those names to be amongst the frontrunners again in Jerez.
Also jostling for positions will be Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing) and Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Spanish pair Nico Terol and Jordi Torres, with all three keen to improve on results thus far in 2014.
Josh Herrin (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing) is set to miss out again due to a collarbone injury and he is replaced Ratthapark Wilairot for round four.