With only six races to go in the 2015 Moto3 season, Miguel Oliveira sat fifth in the world championship and a distant 110 points behind leader Danny Kent.

To say Oliveira had a slim chance of the title seemed generous, yet the Red Bull KTM rider went on to storm the remaining rounds, finishing first or second in each event and plundering 140 of 160 points.

Kent should still have been comfortably out of reach, but Oliveira's charge coincided with the Leopard rider's results dropping off a cliff, following a sixth win of the season at Silverstone.

The Englishman finished no higher than sixth place in the last six rounds, including two non-scores, for just 36 points.

That was just enough to hand Kent the world title, by six points, at a tense Valencia finale, the rampant Oliveira clawing back 104 points in just half-a-dozen races (an average of 17 points per race).

Fast forward to 2021 and we're in the midst of another Moto3 title contest, again between Red Bull KTM and Leopard Honda riders, where the world championship leader has been rapidly caught in the last six rounds.

This time it's the KTM of Pedro Acosta holding the advantage and Leopard's Dennis Foggia doing the hunting.

The Italian hasn't quite matched Oliveira's rate of comeback - rising from fourth to second in the world championship and gaining 76-points over Acosta (average of 13 points per race) - but he also has more time on his side.

Two races still remain for Foggia to bridge the remaining 21-point margin to Acosta, which he will manage if he continues his average gain over the last six races.

Rookie Acosta took a stunning 95 out of 100 points in the opening four rounds, including a debut victory from pit lane in Doha. But just two more wins and three podiums have followed from the next twelve events.

Although he broke a five-race podium drought at Misano, it was a glum Acosta that joined race winner Foggia and Red Bull team-mate Jaume Masia on the rostrum.

“It was a tough race. Despite not having been dry all weekend, we had a good bike. However, we had small issues at points that I did not expect," Acosta said. "We have taken another podium and we continue to focus on our work."

Foggia failed to score in five of the opening seven races, when he was sitting tenth in the standings. But his only blip from Sachsenring onwards has been a DNF in Styria, also his only podium absence in the last nine rounds.

"I've won the three Italian races of 2021 and that's more than I expected," said Foggia after completing a home hattrick in Misano last weekend. "We are now 21 points from Acosta and we'll give our best in Portimao and in Valencia to get the maximum, let's see what happens!"

Acosta faces a winner-takes-all scenario in Portimao, where a repeat of his April victory would hand him the world championship title and avoid the pressure of a championship showdown in Valencia.

But doing so also means beating Foggia for the first time since Styria, seven races ago.

Whatever happens, Acosta - like Oliveira and Kent in 2015 - will move up to Moto2 next season.

But KTM had no Moto2 presence in 2016, meaning Oliveira left to join Kent at Leopard (Kalex). The loss of such a Moto3 star helped convince KTM that they needed a place on each step of the grand prix ladder in future.

That now takes the form of a partnership with Aki Ajo's team, which has 'Red Bull KTM' backing despite using a Kalex chassis. Acosta will thus be able to remain with the KTM family as he moves up to Moto2.

Foggia meanwhile will stay in Moto3 with Leopard for 2022.

While Kent's career stalled and then nosedived in the intermediate class, Oliveira re-joined KTM for 2017 to headline its short-lived Moto2 chassis project, where he won six races before being promoted to MotoGP in 2019.

A double winner for Tech3 in 2020, Oliveira has taken one win and two podiums during his debut season in the factory KTM MotoGP team.

Kent didn’t complete a full grand prix campaign after 2016 and, following the low of a four-month suspended sentence for carrying a knife during a public altercation in 2019, has been competing in the British Superbike Championship, where he took a podium for Buildbase Suzuki this season.