Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) comes to the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit fresh from another great ride. Last Sunday the 20-year-old from Tokyo finished sixth in the Italian GP at Mugello, a hugely impressive result in his first ride at one of MotoGP’s most complex and demanding racetracks.
Ogura has scored four top-seven results from his first six races in Moto2, which puts him eighth in the World Championship and gives him the confidence to keep growing. He knows he still has much to learn about riding a Moto2 bike, which makes more than twice the horsepower of the Honda NSF250RW he rode to second place in last year’s Moto3 World Championship.
He goes into this weekend following recent tests at the track, so this time he knows how the layout works for a Moto2 bike. Ogura’s best result so far is fifth place in April’s Doha GP and his current target is to continue steadily building speed and closing the gap to the race winner.
Team-mate Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) scored his first World Championship points of 2021 at Le Mans last month, where he finished in 12th place. The 22-year-old Thai rider knows Barcelona-Catalunya better than most Grand Prix tracks, so he aims to use that knowledge to good effect during this weekend’s Catalan GP.
The main men in the battle for the 2021 Moto2 World Championship are currently team-mates Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) and Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex). Last Sunday at Mugello the race for victory was between the pair, with Gardner overcoming Fernandez to score his first win of the year and stretch his title lead over Fernandez to six points.
This weekend the 23-year-old Australian and 20-year-old Spaniard will continue their inhouse rivalry, while third-overall Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex) aims to close the points gap with his first victory of the season.
Fourth overall is Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who slid out of second place at Mugello, his third race tumble in the last four races.
Next appointment for the Moto2 grid is the German GP on June 20th and the Dutch TT on 27th June.