Jorge Lorenzo keeps title fight alive

Jorge Lorenzo has kept his 2013 title fight alive

Jorge Lorenzo has kept his 2013 title fight alive

Jorge Lorenzo has ensured that the 2013 MotoGP World Championship will go down to the final race after a workmanlike victory in Japan.

The Yamaha Factory Racing rider clipped Marc Marquez’ championship lead to 13 points, leading from start to finish after seeing off his compatriot’s attacks in the first half of the race.

Marquez ultimately settled for second, with a comfortable margin to his Repsol Honda Team team-mate Dani Pedrosa after the 24 laps were completed.

Lorenzo was the best away at a Motegi Twin Ring bathed in sunshine after Friday’s typhoon, while Valentino Rossi jumped to second from the second row and Marquez slotted into third at Turn 1 despite initially falling behind Pedrosa.

While the 2012 champion might have hoped for some protection from his team-mate, Lorenzo soon lost his rear gunner when Rossi outbraked himself at the 90-Degree Corner on Lap 2 and let both Hondas by.

Marquez and Pedrosa soon closed up on the race leader, the former attempting to strike after a series of cagey laps, but Lorenzo held his nerve to keep bike #93 at bay at the 90-Degree Corner on Lap 14.

The points leader ran wide then had a big moment at the same corner on the next two laps, respectively.

Those incidents offered respite to Lorenzo, who gladly seized the opportunity to build a margin as Marquez continued to struggled to pull up his Honda.

The gap ultimately blew out to over three seconds as Marquez saw fit to consolidate his position safe in the knowledge that Pedrosa was a safe distance back.

Alvaro Bautista made for an all-Spanish Top 4, leaving Stefan Bradl to ride a lonely race to fifth after passing the German on Lap 8.

Valentino Rossi recovered to sixth after completely running off the track at the 90-Degree Corner just one lap after giving second position away, ahead of Cal Crutchlow, and Bradley Smith.

Nicky Hayden quickly plummeted from his front-row starting berth in the dry, finishing ninth from Ducati Team team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

Colin Edwards was the leading CRT rider in 12th after Aleix Espargaro was forced to jump from his bike when the throttle appeared to jam open on Lap 13.

The Espargaro family enjoyed happier times earlier in the day when brother Pol won the Moto2 World Championship with his sixth race win of the season, after Scott Redding was caught in a first-lap incident and failed to finish.

The Moto3 title, on the other hand, will go down to the wire with Luis Salom, Maverick Viñales, and Alex Rins now covered by just five points.

All three classes conclude with the Valencia MotoGP on 10 November.

Japan – Results

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 162.3 42’34.291
2 20 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 162.1 +3.188
3 16 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 162.1 +4.592
4 13 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 161.1 +19.755
5 11 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 160.9 +22.810
6 10 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 160.8 +24.637
7 9 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 160.6 +27.496
8 8 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 160.4 +30.969
9 7 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 160.0 +37.010
10 6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 159.7 +42.944
11 5 21 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA JPN Yamaha YSP Racing Team Yamaha 159.0 +53.345
12 4 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 158.4 +1’03.213
13 3 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 158.2 +1’06.840
14 2 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 158.1 +1’08.218
15 1 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 157.5 +1’18.240
16 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Blusens FTR 157.5 +1’19.108
17 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Avintia Blusens FTR 157.3 +1’21.174
18 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 156.8 +1’30.546
19 70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART 153.7 +2’23.358
20 71 Claudio CORTI ITA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 154.4 1 Lap
21 50 Damian CUDLIN AUS Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 153.4 1 Lap
22 67 Bryan STARING AUS GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda 153.2 1 Lap
Not Classified
41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 158.3 12 Laps
23 Luca SCASSA ITA Cardion AB Motoracing ART 144.3 23 Laps
52 Lukas PESEK CZE Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 139.3 23 Laps

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