Just three races remain in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup for 2014. This weekend's single race at Misano may be the last chance that the opposition has to stop the Jorge Martín juggernaught. The 16-year-old Spaniard and double Silverstone victor has a 49 point advantage over nearest rival Joan Mir and it only he and Stefano Manzi have even a mathematical chance of deposing Martín with 75 points left to be grabbed.
That is not to say that Martín can cruise through his Italian weekend, 16-year-old Spaniard Mir already has two wins and two second places to his name in this, his second, Cup season. A victory and a second has come in the last three races so he is very much on form.
At home to win
Manzi, the 15-year-old Italian, will be hungrier than anyone, there is likely to be little caution involved in his home race attack. He was robbed of victory on the run into the Misano finish line last year. With a run of six third places finally stopped by second in Race 2 in Silverstone he knows that only his first Cup win in his third season will do real damage to the 65 point advantage that Martín holds.
Only one goal
For the rest it is all about one-race-glory as the Cup is out of reach. No one is on better form than Brad Ray, the 17-year-old Briton who comes straight from a great weekend and a win in the British Motostar Championship at Donington Park and will be keen to go a step or two better than the run of 4th, 4th, 5th, 4th that has followed his second in Race 2 at the Sachsenring.
Ray lies fourth in the title chase, just 8 points ahead of Japanese 15-year-old Soushi Mihara who has slipped from his winning form in Jerez and Assen but could very well reverse that decay. He will have to if he is to defend fifth from last year's Misano race winner Manuel Pagliani. The 18-year-old Italian is at home and supper keen for the victory he knows is overdue after an incredible season that has featured three second places and a third but also four falls.
Another who will be buoyed by the home crowd is 15-year-old Italian Fabio Di Giannantonio, he is seventh in the points table and the best of the first season Rookies. Second in Brno Race 2 was no fluke and he might well find that touch more consistency in familiar surroundings.
Add in the usual hefty dose of excitement and skills from Toprak RazgatlÄ±oÄŸlu, Olly Simpson and that other great first year Rookie Bo Bendsneyder with the pack snapping at their heals we are in for another epic.
The single Misano race can be seen live on www.redbull.tv and on TV stations around the world. The race takes place on Saturday, September 13th at 16.30 CET, the show starts 10 minutes before the race.