Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) commences the second half of his rookie Moto2 season with the clear aim of taking further steady steps forward.
The 20-year-old from Tokyo had a mostly excellent start to his career in MotoGP’s intermediate category, scoring five top tens from the first nine races of the season. His best so far is a fifth in the second race, but his last result at Assen is the most significant, because he finished only ten seconds behind the winner, proving that he is getting closer and closer to having the pace he needs to fight for podiums.
Last year at Red Bull Ring, Ogura battled for victory in both the Austrian and Styrian Moto3 races aboard his Honda NSF250RW, taking third- and fourth-place finishes, just a few tenths of a second behind the race winners. He currently stands 11th overall, just one point outside the top ten.
Team-mate Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) looks towards the second half of 2021 with real optimism after showing great promise in the last few races before MotoGP’s mid-season break.
Chantra finished June’s Catalan GP and Dutch TT in ninth and 11th, suggesting that he is finding the speed to regularly compete for top-ten results. The 22-year-old Thai rider finished 13th in last year’s Austrian Moto2 round.
The 2021 Moto2 World Championship is led by Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex), son of Wayne Gardner, who in 1987 became the second rider to win the premier 500cc world title with Honda.
The 23-year-old Australian had a brilliant start to 2021, scoring three victories, four seconds, one third and one fourth from nine races. he currently leads team-mate Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) by 31 points.
Fernandez has performed remarkably well in his rookie Moto2 season, taking three wins and three further podiums so far. However, the 20-year-old Spaniard lost important points when he crashed out of June’s German GP.
Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) stands 25 points behind Fernandez, the 22-year-old Italian still without a win this season. Last year Bezzecchi won two races, but this year he’s yet to better his second place at May’s French GP.
Fourth overall is Sam Lowes (Elf Marc Racing VDS Kalex), who won the opening two races of 2021 but hasn’t been able to recreate that performance since, with just one podium from the last seven races.