The Japanese Grand Prix was every bit exciting as it should have been with Marquez looking to seal the deal and Dovizioso, the only man standing between the Spaniard and his 5th MotoGP title. But it wasn’t just the main race that was full of drama and excitement as the Moto3 championship has now two contenders with a gap of just one point after the race at Motegi and a disqualification of the winner in Moto2.



Moto3

Marco Bezzecchi has been hot on the tail of Jorge Martin, who was all set with a rather comfortable point lead in the championship. But the race at Twin Ring Motegi has changed the outlook of the game completely with Martin in a sticky spot and Bezzecchi so close to Martin that he can almost smell the championship and visualize a disappointed Martin. The race was going just as it was supposed to with Martin looking to cough up another scintillating win and increase the lead on Bezzecchi. We’d say that martin rarely crashes, but he does. And he chose Motegi as the place to do that and with his crash and Bezzecchi winning the Japanese GP, Bezzecchi is now just one point behind Martin. This puts considerable pressure on Martin who seems to have no margin for error anymore if he wants the championship.

Result:

Pos. Rider Bike Time

  1. Marco BEZZECCHI KTM 2'05.403
  2. Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Honda 2'05.532
  3. Aron CANET Honda 2'05.600
  4. Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 2'05.838
  5. Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 2'06.009


Moto3 Championship Standings after Round 16, Motegi, Japan


  1. Jorge Martin 204
  2. Marco Bezzecchi 203
  3. Fabio Di Giannantonio 175
  4. Enea Bastianini -62
  5. Lorenzo Dalla Porta 131



Moto2

The race in Moto2 was just as good as Francesco Bagnaia was thought to be the one who’ll take another comfortable win but little did he know that Fabio Quartararo had other plans. He took the lead in within the first two laps and didn’t let it go. The young Frenchman rode impressively staving off the attacks from Bagnaia through the last few laps of the race taking the win. Bagnaia finished second and the last one on the podium was Lorenzo Baldassarri who we are sure was bored to the core as he rode to a lonely third place at Motegi. Miguel Oliveira who is second on the championship points table after Bagnaia made up for a rather poor start by finishing fourth. Alex Marquez on the other hand had a considerably good start but dropped to 8th during the race but did well to recover and finish 5th.

The weird thing however was the disqualification of Quartararo which handed the win to Bagnaia. After the race, the tire pressures of Fabio Quartararo were found to be below the minimum set by Dunlop, the official tire supplier. Quartararo's result was nullified, making Pecco Bagnaia the winner.

Result:

Pos. Rider Bike Time/Diff

  1. Francesco Bagnaia Kalex 41'04.294
  2. Lorenzo Baldassarri Kalex +6.227
  3. Miguel Oliveira KTM +11.553
  4. Alex Marquez Kalex +12.083
  5. Brad Binder KTM +12.348


Moto2 Championship Standings after Round 16, Motegi, Japan


  1. Francesco Bagnaia 284
  2. Miguel Oliveira 247
  3. Brad Binder 168
  4. Lorenzo Baldassarri 152
  5. Alex Marquez 139



MotoGP

The main race at Motegi was significant for a lot of reasons. In this race, Marquez could seal his 7th world title which is his 5th in the MotoGP class or Dovizioso could be the spoilsport and make Marquez wait longer for the moment. Another thing to be seen here was the continuation of the ‘good feeling’ of Vinales with his Yamaha M1, after Yamaha’s woes ‘seemingly’ ended in Thailand. So what went down in Japan? Marquez wins the title, and there seems to be no end to Rossi and Vinales’ issues with the M1.

Right from the start of the race though, it seemed like Dovizioso is looking to spoil the party for Marquez. He was consistently fast in the practice and took the lead right from the Turn 1. Marquez pushed to 3rd after starting from 6th. Not long after, Jack Miller, who was running 2nd was overtaken by a merciless Marquez. Cal Crutchlow took fourth as he rode behind Miller closely followed by Rossi and Rins. As Miller seemed to slow down, Rossi made quick work of him to move into 4th. But Vinales, the other Yamaha rider was struggling as he slid down to as low as 11th place.

With 15 laps to go, Ianonne decided to up the game, leaving the pack behind and pressing Rossi for 4th within no time. Both the Suzuki riders, Iannone and Rins passed Rossi dropping him to 6th. Marquez who was running a quite 2nd started to line-up Dovizioso for an attack, passed him, but ran wide. He was into a patch of dirt and that could have been disastrous but Marquez was able to save himself from that but was passed by Dovizioso. Marquez’s little tryst with the dirt gave the Iannone a hope to close the gap with Crutchlow who was running 3rd. But Iannone entered turn 10 too hot, lost his front and crashed out of the race.

Things started to intensify at the front where both the Italian and the Spaniard were pushing hard taking turns setting the fastest laps. With 4 laps remaining, Marquez passed Dovizioso and was able to make it stick this time but the Italian relentless charge kept Marquez on his toes. It seemed like it was going to be Motegi 2017 all over again as Dovizioso started closing the gap, which wasn’t too much in the first place. But to Dovizioso’s dismay, the front end of the Ducati washed out as he pushed it a tad-bit too hard. The Italian crashed out of second place, handing the title to Marc Marquez. With this Cal Crutchlow climbed into second with Suzuki's Alex Rins right on his tail for the final podium spot.

Result:

Pos. Rider Bike Time/Diff

  1. Marc Marquez Honda 42'36.438
  2. Cal Crutchlow Honda +1.573
  3. Alex Rins Suzuki +1.720
  4. Valentino Rossi Yamaha +6.413
  5. Alvaro Bautista Ducati +6.919
  6. Johann Zarco Yamaha +8.024
  7. Maverick Vinales Yamaha +13.330
  8. Dani Pedrosa Honda +15.582
  9. Danilo Petrucci Ducati +20.584
  10. Hafizh Syahrin Yamaha +24.985


MotoGP Championship Standings after Round 16, Motegi, Japan


  1. Marc Marquez 296
  2. Andrea Dovizioso 194
  3. Valentino Rossi 185
  4. Maverick Viñales 155
  5. Cal Crutchlow 148