By Rod Hanrick
With only two rounds remaining, starting this weekend in Malaysia, just three points separate Stefan Bradl and Marc Marquez at the top of the Moto2 World Championship.
The pair have exchanged the title lead on two occasions so far this season, with Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) regaining the advantage by the slimmest of margins after placing second ahead of Marquez (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol) in last weekends Australian GP.
“For Phillip Island we went back to the Barcelona set-up, which proved to be the perfect solution from the word go on Friday," said 22 year old Bradl, from Augsburg. "We are also going to use this set-up including the old swingarm at Sepang.
"I am looking forward to this race because I feel I have a good chance to take some more points away from Marquez. Of course I was not entirely happy with Australia, because I only expected Marquez to catch up to 5th or 9th place.”
Rookie Marquez began the Australian race from the back of the grid, after a penalty for crashing into Ratthapark Wilairot after the chequered flag in practice.
The championship can be won by Bradl in Sepang only if he secures victory and the Spaniard fails to score more than 2 points, an unlikely outcome given Marquez's current form, making the closing round in Valencia the likely nail-biting championship decider.
Bradl won four out of the first six races to amass a commanding lead in the championship by mid season, only to be chased down by the hard-riding 18 year old who has won six out of the last nine rounds.
However the German will not give in, “he [Marquez] is a great rider with a bright future ahead of him. On the other hand I fought hard to win and pulled four points back which puts me into the lead of the world championship with only two races to go.
"I have finished on the podium in ten races and a have seen at Motegi and Phillip Island that Marquez is making mistakes... I have definitely not given up! I have nothing to lose at this stage. We have a great team and a good bike.”