Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex) contests the German Grand Prix at Sachsenring for the second time in his career, following the cancellation of last year’s even due to the global pandemic.
Ogura made his first visit in 2016, contesting the Red Bull Rookies Cup, and rode his first GP at the track in July 2019 when he finished seventh in the Moto3 race, less than seven tenths behind winner Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW).
That was an impressive result around such an unusual racetrack, so the 20-year-old from Tokyo is confident he can quickly find the fast way around the twisting, undulating layout during his first visit on a Moto2 bike.
So far Ogura has had a superb rookie Moto2 season, scoring four top-seven results, with a best so far of fifth in the Doha GP. This is an impressive feat, because he is still learning to get the best out of a machine that’s much bigger and more powerful than his Moto3 bike.
Ogura tumbled out of the last race at Barcelona-Catalunya, while battling for a top six in the final laps, a rare mistake from the youngster. But he was pleased with his pace because he was riding closer to the leaders than ever before. He stands ninth in the championship.
Meanwhile team-mate Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex) finished that race in ninth, for his first top ten of the year, making the 22-year-old Thai rider optimistic of continuing his upward curve to score more top tens.
However, this weekend will be a challenge for Chantra, who contests his first race at Sachsenring. Two years ago he was unable to ride at the track due to injuries received in an earlier incident.
The fight for the 2021 Moto2 World Championship is developing into a two-way contest between team-mates Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) and Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex). The pair have finished one-two in the last three races, with Gardner winning the last two to open an 11-point lead over Fernandez.
Last time at Sachsenring, Gardner finished 13th in the Moto2 race, while Fernandez was fifth in the Moto3 race. No doubt the 23-year-old Australian and 20-year-old Spaniard will renew their title duel this weekend.
Third-overall Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) stands 27 points behind Fernandez and has yet to win a race this year, so the 22-year-old Italian knows he needs to start getting the better of Gardner and Fernandez very soon if he’s to challenge for the title.
Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) is fourth overall. The 30-year-old Briton won the opening two races but has since crashed out of three races, losing valuable points.
Moto2 moves to Assen next, for the following Sunday’s Dutch TT, before enjoying a five-weekend midseason summer break