Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) and Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) arrive at Mugello full of confidence, two weeks after achieving their team’s first double points score of 2021.
At Le Mans, Moto2 rookie Ogura once again rode a fast, intelligent race, battling with rivals that have much greater experience of the intermediate class, to cross the line in seventh place. This was his third top-seven result from the first five races in the intermediate class. The 20-year-old from Tokyo currently stands ninth in the championship.
Chantra’s ride to 12th at Le Mans gave him his first World Championship points of the season, confirming the speed the 22-year-old Thai rider had shown in several earlier races, when ill luck prevented him from scoring points.
However, this will be a challenging event for the pair because Mugello is one of MotoGP’s most difficult circuits, dominated by demanding high-speed curves, and neither Ogura nor Chantra have ridden the track before. During their debut GP seasons in 2019 both riders missed Mugello due to injuries sustained at the preceding French GP, so they face a busy weekend trying to learn the secrets of a very complex layout.
The battle for the 2021 Moto2 World Championship is currently a two-way fight, with 23-year-old Australian Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) leading 20-year-old Spaniard Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) by just one point.
Gardner leads the way thanks to his consistency. He has yet to win a race this year but has finished on the podium at four of the first five races, with a fourth place at the other race. Meanwhile Fernandez has won two races but has also finished fifth on two other occasions.
Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex), another rider who has yet to top the podium this year, stands third overall, 16 points behind Fernandez. Fifth in the points chase is Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who has won two races and crashed out of two others, most recently the French GP.