The MotoGP paddock faces a familiar battle against jetlag this weekend as the series heads directly from the Indianapolis circuit in the USA to Misano in Italy, host to the San Marino Grand Prix this weekend. Another set of back-to-back races leaves little time for rest and recovery but the cancellation of the Hungarian Grand Prix in mid-September provides opportunity for an impromptu late holiday before the series resumes in Portugal. The North American jaunt left things a little clearer in the chase for 250cc honours and with Barberá now out of the battle following a poor run of results it promises to be a three-way battle over the final five races between Álvaro Bautista, Marco Simoncelli and Hiro Aoyama.
Mapfre Aspar rider Bautista picked up his fourth consecutive podium at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway but the Spaniard knows that he must get back on the victory trail if he is to maintain a serious challenge for the main prize. Bautista produced an impeccable display to take the win at Misano last year and he is confident he can get straight on the pace when free practice gets underway on Friday. On the other side of the Mapfre box Mike Di Meglio is high on confidence after finishing just behind the title-chasing trio with a creditable fourth place from pole position at Indy. Having scored fifth and ninth in the two races before that the Frenchman knows he can be in the hunt for podiums between now and the end of the season.
“We’ve been on the podium at the last four rounds but that doesn’t look like being enough. The championship is very finely balanced, with three riders very close together, and nobody wants to concede any ground. As far as we’re concerned we’ll just have to work even harder because third-place finishes are not going to close the gap. We have five races left and we’re likely to lose points in some but make them up in others – I can see it going that way until the end of the season. The important thing is that we stay in the fight for the championship and give everything we have to make sure we’re still in it by the time we get to the final race at Valencia.”
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