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Image from the 2017 MotoGP race Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan

Alex Marquez dodges the drops to claim sodden Japanese Grand Prix

Oct 152017

The fifteenth round of MotoGP was remarkable for the torrent of rain and poor weather that gave the Motegi circuit in Japan a permanent shine across all three days of the event. The first of the flyaway ‘triple’ was also the stage for the excellent Alex Marquez to slither through the conditions to bag his third Moto2 victory of the season.

The premier class was won by Andrea Dovizioso after another memorable duel with world champion Marc Marquez while another Italian, Danilo Petrucci, mounted the box for the fourth time this year. Jorge Lorenzo grabbed sixth place while Johann Zarco (from Pole Position) and Maverick Viñales also made the top ten. Valentino Rossi was one of the sixth riders that failed to finish; thankfully the Yamaha man was not hurt in his fall.

The upshot of the nineteenth visit by MotoGP to Motegi is that Marquez leads ‘Dovi’ by just 11 points with Maverick trailing by 41 back in third spot.

“I knew I had this potential,” he said. “I managed the race very well, it is never easy to stay calm in these conditions and I waited for my moment to go to the front. At the end I could open a gap and control the victory. I want thank my team, the doctors and everyone who has helped me to come back after my injury.”

In Moto3 Romano Fenati’s wet weather acumen came to the fore as the Italian coasted to a comfortable victory and closed the championship gap to 55 points – still some possibilities – behind Joan Mir; the Spaniard erring on the side of caution down in seventeenth place. A first ever podium finish for Marco Bezzecchi, third position on the Mahindra, means that Motegi 2017 will be fondly remembered.


MotoGP picks up the pace onto Australia and the stunning circuit of Phillip Island next week.