Marquez eases to Japanese MotoGP win

Marc Marquez pic:

Marc Marquez has eased to victory in the Japanese MotoGP, helping Honda to seal the constructors’ championship at its home circuit of Motegi.

Petronas SRT Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo went with the recently crowned world champion early on but faced a late threat from the Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso before they took the chequered flag in second and third respectively.

Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller held a podium position for almost 10 laps but ultimately faded to 10th, while Jorge Lorenzo finished all the way back in 17th on the second Repsol Honda.

Marquez led the field from pole position into the first corner, while Quartararo forced team-mate Franco Morbidelli wide as he slotted into second position, giving Miller room to take third spot.

Quartararo passed Marquez at Turn 7 but nearly went down when the Honda rider reclaimed the spot at Turn 10 on the opening lap.

That moment forced Miller to slow and he was passed by Morbidelli, who had dropped as far as sixth, at Turn 11, as Dovizioso ran fifth.

Miller took three attempts to re-pass Morbidelli on Lap 3 and he was left alone for several laps as the Italian came under pressure from compatriot Dovizioso and Maverick Viñales.

Morbidelli shut the door on Dovizioso at Turn 1 on Lap 10 and got himself back into third spot when Miller left a big opening on the inside, eight corners later.

That was when the Australian, who had selected soft compound Michelin tyres on the front and rear, began to haemorrhage pace and he was passed by both Dovizioso and Viñales on Lap 11.

Quartararo, meanwhile, had managed to stay about a second behind Marquez until the Repsol Honda rider put the hammer down at about the same time.

He extended his advantage beyond two seconds on Lap 13, while Dovizioso got by Morbidelli at Turn 11 on Lap 14.

Viñales, too, went by #21 at the start of Lap 16 and the Monster Energy Yamaha rider became a serious threat to Dovizioso’s hopes of a podium.

Dovizioso was able to hold the M1 at bay through the corners, with Viñales particularly strong through Turn 7, and had seen off the challenge with a couple of laps to go.

The Ducati pilot started to reel in Quartararo, starting the 24th and final lap 0.882s behind the rookie, but ran out of laps.

Marquez eased off but still won for the 54th time in the premier class, drawing level with another multiple world champion for Honda in Mick Doohan, by 0.870s.

Quartararo put the Rookie of the Year title beyond doubt by finishing 0.455s up on Dovizioso, who consolidated second position in the standings at 55 points clear of Alex Rins and Viñales.

Behind the latter, Crutchlow rounded out the top five on his Castrol LCR Honda, from Morbidelli, Rins (Suzuki Ecstar), Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar), Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team), and Miller.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro took 11th, while Lorenzo finished 40.410s behind his victorious team-mate.

Valentino Rossi was just outside the top 10 when he lost the front end of his Monster Energy Yamaha at Turn 1 on Lap 21, making for two DNFs after Andrea Iannone (Gresini Aprilia) also crashed out.

Tito Rabat (Reale Avinitia Ducati) was a non-starter after a crash in practice the day prior, having also sat out qualifying.

Round 17 is the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, for which practice starts this Friday, October 25.

Race results: Japanese MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 42:41.492
2 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.870
3 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati +1.325
4 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +2.608
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +9.140
6 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +9.187
7 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +9.306
8 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +10.695
9 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Ducati Team Ducati +14.216
10 43 Jack MILLER AUS Pramac Racing Ducati +18.909
11 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +25.554
12 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +27.870
13 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Pramac Racing Ducati +29.983
14 82 Mika KALLIO FIN Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +31.232
15 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +32.546
16 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +37.482
17 99 Jorge LORENZO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +40.410
18 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +43.458
19 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAS Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +46.206
20 50 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +50.235
DNF 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 4 Laps
DNF 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 17 Laps

Race winner: 24 laps

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Marc MARQUEZ ESP 350
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA 231
3 Alex RINS ESP 176
4 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 176
5 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 169
7 Valentino ROSSI ITA 145
8 Jack MILLER AUS 125
10 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA 100
12 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 74
13 Joan MIR ESP 66
15 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 37
16 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 33
17 Andrea IANNONE ITA 33
18 Johann ZARCO FRA 27
19 Jorge LORENZO ESP 23
20 Tito RABAT ESP 18
21 Stefan BRADL GER 16
22 Michele PIRRO ITA 9
23 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA 7
24 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAS 7
25 Karel ABRAHAM CZE 5
26 Mika KALLIO FIN 2
27 Bradley SMITH GBR  

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