MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso
The World Championship visits Thailand for the first time in history. The Chang International Circuit will be where the riders will try to get their names on the podium list and thus go down in history. The only reference we have as to how this may play out is the test that was held in here February, where the Hondas were the main protagonists, with Crutchlow on top the first day, Márquez the second and Pedrosa finishing the three practices days as the fastest of all.
But we must look at these results with a skeptical eye, as the tires that will be in use on this occasion will be very different than at the test. Michelin has brought a tyre specially developed for the Buriram circuit that is designed to managed the heat better than the ones used at the test. The tires Sunday won’t be similar to those used 8 months ago, so this will necessitate a major set-up change, and the approach is not so clear.
Márquez technically should be the big favorite but we are now entering the zone of more conservative riding (instead of crashing) in order to secure the title.
Another reference we do have is how similar the Buriram track is to Argentina and Austria, despite being a flat layout. Looking at is this way, we must remember that Márquez was by far the fastest at Termas de Rio Hondo, while at the Red Bull Ring, despite the effort he put in, he could not beat the Ducati for the second consecutive year.
Thus, Márquez technically should be the big favorite but we are now entering the zone of more conservative riding (instead of crashing) in order to secure the title. Marc fulfilled his goal of a victory at Aragon but the important thing now is the title, and with 4 races in just 5 weeks, what he cannot afford is to lose his lead with an injury at the moment. Keep in mind that the times in the tests were very tight with 16 riders within one second of each other, so there are several who could surprise us.
Andrea Dovizioso comes from his best sequence of results in the last 4 races, with two wins, one second and a third. He’s never scored so many points in this time interval.
Dovizioso did quite well in testing and in principle is the one who can delay number 93 being crowned champion as long as possible. Andrea comes from his best sequence of results in the last 4 races, with two wins, one second and a third. He’s never scored so many points in this time interval, which demonstrates that he and his Ducati are in good shape. On the other side of the box we have Lorenzo, who is coming off of two consecutive crashes in two races where he was the favorite for both. But this is not why we dismissed him for the win, it is rather for how poorly he did in the February test and especially due his physical condition after the Aragon crash two weeks ago.
Speaking of the Yamaha, it won’t be this weekend that they will have their next victory. They trailed behind in the February test, and the current situation does not suggest that it will be different now. Viñales, unmotivated and with a half-dismantled team, doesn’t seem to be able to turn the situation around, and Rossi has stopped waiting for a miracle.
Moto2: Miguel Oliveira
The Moto2 riders, like the Moto3 riders, arrive at a totally new track for them. These conditions favor those with more talent to take advantage of the layout, and of course, in this category it means we are talking about Pecco Bagnaia and Miguel Oliveira. On this occasion we are betting on the Portuguese rider. He needs to urgently stop the Italian who can’t gamble with results and take risks in the crazy category that Moto2 has become.
Oliveira needs to urgently stop the Bagnaia increasing his advantage in the championship standing.
As for who could surprise us, we have several candidates, such as Joan Mir, which the track characteristics and the fact that it is new for everyone will favor. Binder is another one that is looking forward to this GP. His recent first victory in the category brought him to third in the championship, the maximum he can aspire to since the first two are so far ahead in points. Thus Brad can go out to each race with the sole objective of adding more wins to his record. Remember that as soon as he was leading the Moto3 championship, second victory quickly fell behind.
Moto3: Jorge Martin
As we mentioned in Moto2, those with the most talent are the main favorites for a circuit that they is brand new for everyone. In the Moto3 class, this is undoubtedly Jorge Martín. The long straight is going to favor the KTMs as they are faster than the Hondas, but this is only the first part of the track. The rest of the circuit is connected corners, slightly different to Aragon, where the straight is in the last part of the track. Martin can’t get into any trouble here but it is expected that in this race the front group is again going to be huge, and in such conditions he’ll go out and stay up front and fight to get points, because the breakaway this time will be up front, where the victory is.