If you’re a Moto3 rookie, leading the championship and readying yourself to come back from summer break with a bang at the Michelin Grand Prix of Styria, what would put an extra spring in your step?
Something like four Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup wins at the venue in question last time you raced there? That’s the sensational Pedro Acosta’s (Red Bull KTM Ajo) CV from the Red Bull Ring in 2020, and his lead remains nearly two entire race wins’ worth of points this season so we can probably expect some excellence-flavoured déjà vu.
But all is not necessarily lost for his rivals as a few arrive in good form… and this is Moto3 after all.
Sergio Garcia (SANTANDER Consumer Bank GASGAS Aspar) remains the closest challenger, with two wins so far, some solid consistent scoring and a second place at Assen taken just before summer. But Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) feels like he has some serious momentum too, now in second overall, winning at Assen - his second victory of the season - and now clawing back some traction and what was a huge deficit to the top. Can the two keep the pressure on?
Behind them, it tightens up in the points and fourth is now Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team). The Italian is the only rider to have scored in every race so far this year, and he’ll want to keep that going and home in on a first win of the year. He has taken victory at the Red Bull Ring before too - a first win back on his return to Moto3 in 2019.
The two riders just behind him will be coming back from summer gunning for glory too: Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing). A season of ups and downs for both has nevertheless seen both often up at the front and on the podium, and Masia began the season with a win. Can they use the reset of summer break to put bad luck and trouble to bed?
The likes of Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3), Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3), his teammate Jeremy Alcoba and Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) will likely be back up there at the front, and John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) is a former podium finisher at the venue looking for more luck too.
And Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Acosta and Masia will be pushing hard on KTM and Red Bull’s home turf, but so will the Red Bull KTM Tech 3 squad. Deniz Öncü now has a podium and will be pushing for another, and his teammate will also be back on track: Ayumu Sasaki.
A first half of the season that saw the Japanese rider putting together some impressive consistency to hover in the top five, four and three in the standings was interrupted by that crash a Catalunya, and the number 71 was sidelined until given the absolute all-clear to return. He now has that, and will be more than eager to get back out and push.