Motul Grand Prix of Japan, Motegi: raceday round-up – MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3

 In MotoGP, News



The 2014 MotoGP™ World title was clinched by Marc Marquez at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan as he finished in second place behind race winner Jorge Lorenzo, with Valentino Rossi also on the podium.

Lorenzo took his second successive victory as his great recent form continued but the story of the race was all about Marquez as he got the job done to secure the 2014 title with three rounds to go. Marquez crossed the line 1.638s behind Lorenzo to collect the crucial points for the World Championship win, as Rossi completed the rostrum in third.

Marquez did not make the best start off the line but overtook Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) in the opening laps to hunt down the front group. He then picked off pole man Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and won a midrace battle with Rossi overtaking at the second attempt on lap nine for second position.

Behind Lorenzo, Marquez and Rossi, Pedrosa eventually finished in fourth place, missing the podium by 0.555s, with Dovizioso in fifth.

The top ten was completed by Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing), Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini).

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) was the first faller of the race, resulting in a DNF after his Aragon podium. Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) fell in the second half of the race and Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing) crashed on the final lap. All riders were uninjured.

Danilo Petrucci (Octo Iodaracing Team) retired to the pits with a technical problem.



The 23-lap Moto2™ contest at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan saw Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Sitag) take maximum points, with the Swiss rider joined on the podium by Maverick Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) and Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team).

Luthi rode superbly from second on the grid, getting into the lead on the first lap and managing the gap throughout the race for his first victory since 2012 and his second podium this year.

He eventually crossed the line 1.209s ahead of the increasingly impressive Viñales who pushed hard in the final laps. Rabat rode steadily to third, running in fifth place early in the race after a slow start but doing enough to collect crucial championship points.

Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham) looked to be in contention for a podium result in the first half of the race but was ultimately fourth, whilst Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) could only manage fifth. Rabat’s lead in the standings increased to 38 points with three races to go.

The top ten was rounded out by Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team), Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team), Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia), Ricard Cardus (Tech 3) and Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2).

Riccardo Russo (Tasca Racing Moto2) fell early in the opening lap. Sam Lowes (Speed Up) crashed out several laps later while fighting for a top ten. Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing) fell with 17 laps to go and were both able to initially remount, but neither would finish the race.

Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team) also crashed and remounted, but pulled into the pits with Pasini several laps later.

The closing laps saw Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3) and Axel Pons (AGR Team) fall. There was a rare mistake from Dominique Aegerter (Technomag CarXpert) late on, the Swiss rider remounting for 18th.



The Moto3™ race at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan saw Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) take control of the World Championship fight with a stunning win, with Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG) and Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) also on the podium.

Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) were both in the hunt for victory on the final lap but ran wide to allow Marquez through for the win. The result sees Marquez open up a 25-point gap at the head of the standings with three races remaining.

Ultimately Marquez crossed the finish line 0.357s ahead of Vazquez who had brilliantly worked his way through from 14th on the grid. Binder picked up the second podium of his career in third place having run with the front group throughout.

John McPhee (SaxoPrint-RTG) was fourth, whilst Miller and Kent touched on the last lap and finished fifth and sixth respectively.

Italian trio Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46), Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3) and Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN), along with Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0), completed the top ten. Rins ran wide early on the first lap and made his way back up from 25th place.

The race came to an early end for Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo), Hikari Okubo (Hot Racing with I-Factory), Scott Deroue (RW Racing GP) and Sena Yamada (Liberto Plusone & Endurance), all who fell at Turn 1. Italians Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia) and Andrea Migno (Mahindra Racing) fell later on the opening lap with Ferrari able to rejoin.

Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) fell with 14 laps to go and was able to remount briefly. Juanfran Guevara (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) took a tumble while chasing the leaders.

Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team) and Jorge Navarro (Marc VDS Racing Team) came together mid race, both escaped serious injury. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing) suffered a big highside fighting for a podium. Luca Grünwald (Kiefer Racing) slid off and remounted in the closing stages of the race.



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