Moto 2 Title goes down to the wire

Moto GP test in Portimao, Portugal, at the Autodromo Internacional of Algarve on October 8, 2020. Viñales wheelies. (MotoGP.com/Cordon Press/Sipa USA)

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the introduction of Moto 2 class and with it comes a chance of a British world champion for only the second time in 43 years.

Eyebrows were raised a decade ago when Dorna and the FIM decided to replace the popular two stroke 250cc class with a four stroke series that only had one engine manufacturer.

However ten years later Moto2 has helped bridge the gap between the intermediate class and the premier class of MotoGP.

While the series has been dominated by the Spanish and Italians, with seven of the ten champions being from one of the two countries, this year’s title could be set to be Britain’s first in Moto2 and the first intermediate class champion since Phil Read won the 250cc championship on a Yamaha in 1971.

While 2019 British Superbike Champion Scott Redding came close to bringing the title to our shores in 2013, a late season injury saw him lose the title to Spaniard Pol Espargaró in the final few rounds of the season.

But now the championship looks to be in the grasp of Brit Sam Lowes as they head into the final rounds of a frantic 2020 season.

Three wins on the bounce saw him leading the championship by seven points from Italian Enea Bastianini as they headed into back to back races at the Circuit de Valencia.

A crash in the race the first weekend handed Bastianini the lead in the championship and gave the italian an opportunity to secure the title last weekend. A vicious crash for Lowes in qualifying looked to ruin his chances of the title, however a valiant ride on Sunday with a broken hand saw finish 14th and claim two points, while Bastianini could only manage sixth place.

Those results mean Bastinini now leads the championship by 14 points and it’s his to lose as MotoGP rocks up in Portugal for the first time since 2012 and for the first time ever at Portimao.

But Lowes is no stranger to the pressure of fighting for a title after winning the 2010 British Supersport championship, and has experience of the Portimao circuit having won there on his way to the 2013 World Supersport title.