Marc Marquez has clinched his third MotoGP world championship in style with victory in the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi. The Repsol Honda rider took an unchallenged victory, first at Motegi in the premier class, and with both factory Yamaha riders crashing out of second place, Marquez now has an unassailable 77 point lead with three races remaining.
Having qualified first and third, Yamaha started the race with victory in their sights but Marquez soon stamped his authority, powering past Jorge Lorenzo for the lead on lap four. Mindful that he couldn’t allow the Honda rider to escape, Valentino Rossi produced a similar move to grab second two laps later but a crash at turn nine ended his afternoon, putting the first piece of the championship puzzle into place.
With no answer for Marquez, Lorenzo came under pressure from a hard-charging Andrea Dovizioso and with five laps to go, the pressure told. Under braking for turn nine, the front end of the no.99 Yamaha folded from underneath Lorenzo and in an instant, the Spaniard relinquished his crown to his compatriot.
Marquez cruised through the closing laps to claim a historic first MotoGP victory in Japan, and with it, his third MotoGP title and fifth across all classes. Dovizioso took a superb second, equalling his best result of the season while Maverick Vinales won an entertaining tussle with Suzuki teammate Aleix Espargaro to claim the final podium position.
Cal Crutchlow took the honours in the independent battle once again in fifth with Pol Espargaro riding a lonely race to sixth while Alvaro Bautista served further notice of Aprilia’s improvement with seventh, beating both Pramac Ducatis in the process. The team-mates finished a quarter of a second apart in eighth and ninth with Danilo Petrucci edging out Scott Redding while Stefan Bradl rounded out the top ten on the second Aprilia.
2016 Motul Grand Prix of Japan (Race Result)
|1||93. Marc MARQUEZ||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||42:34.610||25|
|2||4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||Ducati Team||+2.992||20|
|3||25. Maverick VINALES||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||+4.104||16|
|4||41. Aleix ESPARGARO||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||+4.726||13|
|5||35. Cal CRUTCHLOW||Honda||LCR Honda||+15.049||11|
|6||44. Pol ESPARGARO||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+19.654||10|
|7||19. Alvaro BAUTISTA||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+23.032||9|
|8||9. Danilo PETRUCCI||Ducati||Octo Pramac Yakhnich||+28.555||8|
|9||45. Scott REDDING||Ducati||Octo Pramac Yakhnich||+28.802||7|
|10||6. Stefan BRADL||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+32.330||6|
|11||21. Katsuyuki NAKASUGA||Yamaha||Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing||+42.845||5|
|12||68. Yonny HERNANDEZ||Ducati||Pull & Bear Aspar Ducati Team||+52.219||4|
|13||38. Bradley SMITH||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+53.783||3|
|14||53. Tito RABAT||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+54.760||2|
|15||73. Hiroshi AOYAMA||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+1:00.155||1|
|16||76. Loris BAZ||Ducati||Avintia Racing||+1:04.440|
|17||8. Hector BARBERA||Ducati||Ducati Team||+1:42.966|
|18||7. Mike JONES||Ducati||Avintia Racing||+1 Lap|
|NC||99. Jorge LORENZO||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+5 Laps|
|NC||46. Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+18 Laps|
|NC||73. Jack MILLER||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+18 Laps|
|NC||50. Eugene LAVERTY||Ducati||Pull & Bear Aspar Ducati Team||+22 Laps|