Johann Zarco has clinched the 2015 Moto2 world championship after his only title rival Tito Rabat pulled out of the Japanese Grand Prix. Rabat arrived in Japan nursing a fractured radius in his left arm and after testing his fitness in FP1 this morning, the Spaniard took the decision to withdraw from the weekend.
Rabat trails Zarco by 78 points but with only three races remaining after Motegi, the Ajo Motorsport rider cannot be caught. Although he did everything possible to compete this weekend, Rabat was forced to admit defeat and graciously handed his world crown over to Zarco.
“There was little pain, but I just didn’t have the power in the injured arm needed to cope with the hard braking areas here at Motegi. To continue this weekend would have made no sense. The championship is gone and second place is not worth the risk of crashing again and making the injury worse. I am disappointed we weren’t able to fight to the end, but congratulations to Johann Zarco on the championship. He’s ridden a faultless season and will be a worthy champion.”
Zarco has proven the dominant force in Moto2 throughout the season, winning six Grands Prix, four more than any other rider. The Frenchman has only missed out on the podium on two occasions with his relentless consistency taking him clear of the opposition.
Not a rider known for such consistency earlier in his career, Johann didn’t claim his maiden 125cc victory until the 2011 Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi but four years on, the same venue sees his crowning moment as Moto2 world champion.