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Cal Crutchlow at the 2018 GP of Japan

Crutchlow back in the champagne spray after Japanese decider

Oct 222018

The 2018 MotoGP story is over. With eight wins and thirteen podiums Marc Marquez finally blew the smoke away from the barrel. The compact Twin Ring Motegi was the scene of the Honda rider’s fifth premier class title celebration but it was also a prosperous course for HRC machinery as LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow made it a 1-2 for the sixteenth round of nineteen. The Brit was a constant threat through the weekend that stayed bright and sunny (in contrast to the 2017 rain-drench edition of this event) and delivered some close action.

“It’s great to be on the podium here in Japan and team did a great job: it’s a great day in general for us,” #35 underlines. “Congrats to Marc, he has been incredible all year. It was a strange race. I felt good, the problem was that I should have gone for the lead earlier but I was concerned about [bike] power strategy. I also didn't want to run long in one of those braking zones at Honda’s home GP and with Marc going for the title! It was so difficult to pass but we had a strong bike today.”

Crutchlow and the championship now march onto the sweeping curves of Phillip Island: scene of his exciting victory in 2016. “We’ll try our best in Phillip Island, like any race,” he said. “[but] Marc now has nothing to lose, so it could be worse again!”


With Jorge Lorenzo out of play with injury and the factory Yamahas just missing that edge of competitiveness once more (Valentino Rossi persevered to the fourth) other glory rested in Moto2 where championship leader Pecco Bagnaia was awarded his eighth victory of 2018 after Fabio Quartararo was disqualified for having infringed tyre pressure regulations. The Italian guards a 28 point gap over Miguel Oliveira with just three races to go.


In Moto3 Marco Bezzecchi increased his chances of the ’18 title by winning with the narrowest of margins in Japan. The Italian was staring at a gulf of a deficit to Jorge Martin after his last lap crash at Misano three rounds ago but has pegged back the points. After the Spaniard’s DNF at Motegi ‘Bezz’ is just one away from the top of the Moto3 standings.


MotoGP now heads down under.