Only five rounds of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship season remain and we seem to be no closer to working out who will walk away with the coveted title.
Back-to-back races in Aragon should – in theory – give the picture more clarity but after seven winners this season, it really could go any which way…
Ducati favourites at Aragon?
Everything about the 2020 MotoGP World Championship is pointing to it being decided at the Portimao season finale but while every race, every session and every tenth will be crucial from now and until then, this weekend’s Aragon MotoGP and the sequel the following weekend really could be crucial.
In fact, only 3 circuits will determine the final 5 races, so while Valencia circuit is perhaps Yamaha circuit, who will be feeling most confident for Aragon?
On paper, we’d plump for Ducati – and therefore Andrea Dovizioso – as to whom will feel bullish this weekend.
Le Mans could have gone better or a lot worse for Dovi after salvaging fourth as his Ducati kept trying to slip from his grasp. He has a good record at Aragon, finishing second to Marquez the last two years, and it’s powerful engine should earn a few extra hundredths down that long back straight.
That said, Dovizioso says the bike feels very different this year compared to last season, while Danilo Petrucci even says that famous top speed advantage just isn’t there anymore.
So it’s a bit of an unknown for Ducati – it was unexpectedly slow in Brno but still fast in Austria, so it could go either way. With this in mind, we’ll pick Johann Zarco for victory… and we’re only half joking.
Also, after a bit of bumping in Le Mans, will Ducati feel compelled to remind the team of those title aspirations to Petrucci and also Jack Miller, who is surely owed a win for Pramac before the year is out…
Can Yamaha keep rivals at bay – literally and figuratively
If that back straight does prove crucial though, Yamaha will definitely be feeling nervous.
Last year, its bikes just went backwards as rivals breezed past, the M1 proving as ever quick in the twisty stuff on Saturday, only to find that’s no good on Sunday when you keep finding bikes on the apex.
Fabio Quartararo had a lot to lose on race day in France and put in a mature ride to make the best of the hand he was dealt, but Aragon might just stretch the Yamaha’s limitations a little farther.
Also, it should be noted that Yamaha is on the bubble with its engine allocation, leading to speculation it has had to turn them down a little to preserve them, which just adds to that top speed headache even without thinking about it in relation to Aragon.
With two races to come, it really could prove crucial.
Four-way fight for Moto2 battle heats up
MotoGP isn’t the only series that is heading for a tight finish with Moto2 evolving into what could be a thrilling run to the final event, with – like MotoGP – four seemingly in the running, split by 22 points.
Luca Marini has been in charge in recent rounds, but an injury-hampered weekend in Le Mans has seen his advantage eroded by Enea Bastianini, who has kept his fellow Italian in close company since the start of the year.
Currently VR46 Sky Italia rider Marini holds the advantage with 15 points in hand over Italtrans racer Bastianini, but both are coming under threat from two perhaps lesser fancied rivals coming on stronger in recent rounds in Marco Bezzecchi and Sam Lowes.
Only 19th overall in his maiden season of Moto2 last year, Bezzecchi has flourished in 2020 and has been a match for VR46 team-mate Marini, while he has been on the podium in four of the last five races to place himself 20 points adrift.
Meanwhile, Lowes flew the flag last time out in Le Mans, proving once again that Brits know their way around a slippery track by notching up his first win in Marc VDS colours.
It’s also his first Moto2 victory since 2016 prior to his failed sojourn to MotoGP with Aprilia in 2017. Remember that? He’d probably rather we didn’t…
Were it not for a few reckless moments – Styria comes to mind – and Lowes would be right up at the sharp end, but with five rounds remaining and confidence clearly there, at the very least Lowes has an experience advantage as we come down to the crucial final moments.