THE NORTHERN TALENT CUP SADDLES UP FOR THE SACHSENRING

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Round 3 has arrived, with Gurecky in the driving seat as the NTC heads for Saxony at the start of another back-to-back

Four races in the next two weekends? Sign us up. 2021 is already a busy one for the Northern Talent Cup and now the stampede of KTM 250s heads for the Sachsenring to race the first of two weekends on the bounce alongside the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship, with Jakub Gurecky (JRT Brno Circuit) ahead of the game in the standings. The tight and twisty Sachsenring is a different challenge though, and there are plenty of contenders waiting to try and take the fight to the Czech rider.

Gurecky has been fast since he joined the NTC, however. His three wins in a row in the rain speak to some true brilliance in difficult conditions so far in 2021, but he’s hardly come from nowhere so there’s no reason to expect him to not fight for every podium. With nearly a race win’s worth of points in his pocket ahead of closest challenger Lorenz Luciano (Junior Black Knights Team) though, he can afford to – and may choose to – play the long game. So will he push to the limit?

Those just behind him likely will. Luciano started the year on top and has since only had one real blip, but 24 points will be a deficit he’ll want to start cutting into – whilst walking that difficult line between risk and reward. There are, after all, 100 points on the table in just the next two rounds. He was also on the podium at the Sachsenring last year. Third overall, Jonas Kocourek (JRT Brno Circuit), is another with three podiums from four too this year, on a good roll of form and with some good experience at the front to back it up.

Fellow experienced runners Kas Beekmans (KNMV), Niklas Kitzbichler (Racing-Team-Kitzbichler) and, especially, Jacopo Hosciuc (Hos Racing Team) will want to feature too. The Dutchman has been consistent and the Austrian started the year on the fringes of the podium fight after a step forward, which is where he’ll want to get back to. The Romanian, meanwhile, has already been on the rostrum but has also had some doses of bad luck and trouble. He took three second places in 2020 though, including one at the Sachsenring, and had the pace to fight for most of the wins. So he’ll want to iron out 2021 into a smoother year – and there may well be a first victory at stake, too.

On rookie watch, fourth overall is now Lennoxx Phommara (Phommara Team) after the Swiss debutant shone through with some impressive rides in tough conditions, including a first podium at Oschersleben. And Rossi Moor (FAIRIUM Next Generation Riders Team), who started the season obliterating the timesheets in testing and then crashing out early from pole in France, is finding his feet again too. The Hungarian took two top fives in Oschersleben, again from pole, and will be looking to convert his speed into bigger points. Could better weather, in which he has already shown his prowess, play into his hands?

It’s already a great battle at the top in the 2021 NTC, and Sachsenring will likely be no different. Can Gurecky keep his roll going or will the likes of Luciano, Kocourek, Hosciuc and more (or Moor!) strike back? Or will a new name emerge in the fight at the front? Find out on Saturday with Race 1 at 17:30 (GMT +2), before Race 2 on Sunday at 16:30.

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