PREVIEW: 2019 Moto3 – Austrian GP – Canet and Dalla Porta battle to intensify in Spielberg

by Adnan El-Farzazi

Less than a week and Moto3 rolls on to the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix. Some said last weeks race at Brno was the best race of the weekend and it would be hard to disagree.

Only three points between the two leaders, Will we see the pendulum swing back towards the Italian?

This weekend will see Arón Canet and Lorenzo Dalla Porta look to establish dominance over each other in order to establish some sort of gap in the championship battle, but it will be difficult as neither rider will give an inch. We saw this first hand at the last round, where the last lap was an absolute treat to watch.

Canet, riding for the Sterilgarda Max Racing Team, ultimately took the top step of the rostrum with Dalla Porta, his rival on the Leopard Racing team bike, finished second.

The myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich will be a year of firsts as no rider has finished above fourth in the current crop of pilots. The 2018 race was won by Marco Bezzecchi, who now calls Moto2 home, with Enea Bastianini and eventual series champion Jorge Martin completing the podium.

Albert Arenas of the Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team has the best finish at the track of the current crop of riders, with the Spaniard aiming to put last weeks race dramas behind him, having crashed twice at Brno. It will be important for him to stay on the bike and push for a positive result like last year, or perhaps even better.

Niccolo Antonelli, SIC58 Squadra Corse (Motogp)

Aside from the leaders, another man to watch will be Niccolo Antonelli, he showed at Brno that he isn’t to be underestimated. Despite starting from the pit lane after issues on the grid, he managed to finish in an impressive fifth position. The SIC58 Squadra Corse rider current sits third in the championship, although more than a race win in points away from the leading duo of Canet and Dalla Porta.

Also expect Brno pole-sitter and podium finisher Tony Arbolino of VNE Snipers to have a strong weekend; the Italian has shown that he has the pace to compete at the front. The Italian currently sits fourth in the championship standings, five points behind countryman Antonelli, but a little way ahead of Spanish duo Jaume Masiá (Bester Capital Dubai KTM) and Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing Honda).

John McPhee, who had an unfortunate start to the race last week that saw the pit limiter being turned on during the start that resulted in being shunted from behind by Wildcard Yuki Kunii, is also likely to be one to watch this weekend as he bids to improve on his seventh place standing.

The top three Rookies will also be fighting for rookie of the year accolade with Celestino Vietti of Sky Racing Team VR46 hoping to put his Brno retirement behind him and finish strong. Japanese rider Ai Ogura of Honda Team Asia who finished sixth in the last race will be looking to add to his points in order to dethrone Vietti.

Likewise, Raul Fernandez of Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team also showed he can race and has had impressive moments this year with seven points finishes and a best of fifth, which came in the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring last month.

The way the track is, it is historically not a circuit where riders bunch up so we should see some groups breakaway in the middle of the race so it will be important to get a good start in order to benefit from the slipstreaming that is famous in the Lightweight class.

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