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Race report
Moto2 Motegi

MotoGP Japanese GP: Chantra, Masia take Moto2 and Moto3 wins

Somkiat Chantra and Jaume Masia came away with victories in the Moto2 and Moto3 races respectively at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Somkiat Chantra, Honda Team Asia

Thai rider Chantra scored only his second career win, and his first of 2023, in a dominant display from pole position, as he led every lap to lead a one-two for Honda Team Asia ahead of Ai Ogura.

Pedro Acosta meanwhile took a major step towards the title as he finished in third on a weekend to forget for chief title rival Tony Arbolino.

As Chantra checked out at the head of the field, pulling a two-second gap on the rest within four laps, Ogura had to battle his way back after a poor start from second grid left him fourth on the opening lap.

Jake Dixon slotted into second at the start but was passed by both Alonso Lopez and Ogura on the second lap of 19, and Ogura managed to grab second off Lopez - who dropped down the order with a double long-lap penalty held over from the Indian round - on lap three.

Once in clear air, Ogura was able to match Chantra's pace and started to close the gap in the latter half of the stage, bringing down the 2.3s cushion held by his team-mate to as little as 1.2s.

But Chantra was not to be denied and took the chequered flag by 1.353s at the finish.

Ajo KTM man Acosta dropped from fourth on the grid to seventh on the first lap, but was back in his grid position by lap five and then took third when Lopez served the first of his penalties, staying there for the rest of the race.

Aspar's Dixon likewise rode a lonely race to fourth ahead of Filip Salac (Gresini) and Manuel Gonzalez (VR46 Master Camp).

Marc VDS rider Arbolino had to fight hard for his 11th-place finish, his second-worst result of the season, and now trails Acosta by 50 points with six rounds to go.

His team-mate Sam Lowes fared even worse however as he crashed out at the final corner on lap six.

Lopez (Speed Up) went from third to 10th after serving both of his penalties and finally wound up 13th.

Moto2 Japanese Grand Prix - race results:

         
Driver Info
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Retirement Points
1 Thailand S. Chantra Honda Team Asia 35 Kalex 19 - 25
2 Japan A. Ogura Honda Team Asia 79 Kalex 19 +1.353 1.353 20
3 Spain P. Acosta Ajo Motorsport 37 Kalex 19 +3.080 1.727 16
4 United Kingdom J. Dixon Inde GASGAS Aspar Team 96 Kalex 19 +5.065 1.985 13
5 Czech Republic F. Salač QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 12 Kalex 19 +10.492 5.427 11
6 Spain M. Gonzalez Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp 18 Kalex 19 +12.961 2.469 10
7 Spain M. Ramirez American Racing 24 Kalex 19 +14.352 1.391 9
8 Spain A. Canet Pons Wegow Los40 40 Kalex 19 +16.360 2.008 8
9 Netherlands Z. van den Goorbergh Fieten Olie Racing GP 84 Kalex 19 +17.692 1.332 7
10 South Africa D. Binder Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP 15 Kalex 19 +19.405 1.713 6
11 Italy T. Arbolino Elf Marc VDS Racing Team 14 Kalex 19 +20.661 1.256 5
12 United States J. Roberts Italtrans Racing Team 16 Kalex 19 +20.809 0.148 4
13 Spain A. López Beta Tools - Speed Up Racing 21 Boscoscuro B-21 19 +21.303 0.494 3
14 Spain I. Guevara Inde GASGAS Aspar Team 28 Kalex 19 +21.477 0.174 2
15 Belgium B. Baltus Fieten Olie Racing GP 7 Kalex 19 +24.032 2.555 1
16 Spain J. Alcoba QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 52 Kalex 19 +25.623 1.591
17 Netherlands B. Bendsneyder Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team 64 Kalex 19 +26.803 1.180
18 Spain A. Arenas Ajo Motorsport 75 Kalex 19 +27.371 0.568
19
T. Hada Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team
23 Kalex 19 +29.412 2.041
20 Italy A. Surra Forward Team 67 Forward F2 19 +33.825 4.413
21
S. Agius Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP
8 Kalex 19 +34.103 0.278
22 Spain F. Aldeguer Beta Tools - Speed Up Racing 54 Boscoscuro B-21 19 +34.291 0.188
23
S. Kelly Forward Team
4 Forward F2 19 +36.473 2.182
24
B. Gomez Fantic Racing
72 Kalex 19 +39.635 3.162
25 United Kingdom R. Skinner American Racing 33 Kalex 19 +43.069 3.434
26 Italy M. Casadei Fantic Racing 9 Kalex 19 +45.508 2.439
dnf Spain S. García Pons Wegow Los40 11 Kalex 9 Retirement
dnf Italy D. Foggia Italtrans Racing Team 71 Kalex 8 Retirement
dnf Japan K. Nozane Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp 5 Kalex 7 Accident
dnf United Kingdom S. Lowes Elf Marc VDS Racing Team 22 Kalex 6 Accident

In the earlier Moto3 race, Masia overhauled Daniel Holgado to take the lead of the championship with his third win of the season.

 

Deniz Oncu (Ajo KTM) grabbed the holeshot from second on the grid as poleman Masia (Leopard Honda) made a poor start, with a group of four riders forming at the head of the field comprising Oncu, Holgado (Tech3 KTM), local hero Ayumu Sasaki (Intact Husqvarna) and Masia.

Ajo KTM man Oncu maintained the lead until Masia passed him at Turn 1 on lap 7 of 17, and while the leading group remain tightly bunched for several more laps, intense fighting between Oncu, Holgado and Sasaki allowed Masia to get away.

Oncu then crashed out of second place on lap 11 at the Turn 9 left-hander, by which point Masia had extended a comfortable lead of more than one second that he would maintain to the finish.

Sasaki - whose move to Moto2 in 2024 with the VR46 Master Camp team was confirmed on the eve of his home race - came out on top in an entertaining duel over second place.

Holgado managed to pass Sasaki at Turn 11 on the final lap only to make a poor exit from the final corner and concede the position by 0.056s.

It means Masia now leads the standings by six points from Sasaki, with Holgado slipping to third, nine behind the new leader.

Moto3 Japanese Grand Prix - race results:

         
Driver Info
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Retirement Points
1 Spain J. Masia Leopard Racing 5 Honda 17 33'30.018 146.1 25
2 Japan A. Sasaki Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP 71 Husqvarna 17 +1.546 1.546 146.0 20
3 Spain D. Holgado Red Bull KTM Tech 3 96 KTM 17 +1.602 0.056 146.0 16
4 Italy S. Nepa Angeluss MTA Team 82 KTM 17 +5.200 3.598 145.8 13
5
I. Ortola Angeluss MTA Team
48 KTM 17 +5.230 0.030 145.7 11
6
D. Muñoz BOE Motorsports
44 KTM 17 +8.900 3.670 145.5 10
7
D. Alonso GAVIOTA GASGAS Aspar Team
80 GASGAS 17 +8.959 0.059 145.5 9
8 Japan K. Toba SIC58 Squadra Corse 27 Honda 17 +9.253 0.294 145.5 8
9 Japan R. Yamanaka GAVIOTA GASGAS Aspar Team 6 GASGAS 17 +9.629 0.376 145.4 7
10
J. Antonio Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
99 KTM 17 +9.734 0.105 145.4 6
11
C. Veijer Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP
95 Husqvarna 17 +9.804 0.070 145.4 5
12 Japan T. Furusato Honda Team Asia 72 Honda 17 +10.195 0.391 145.4 4
13 Italy R. Rossi SIC58 Squadra Corse 54 Honda 17 +10.874 0.679 145.3 3
14 Brazil D. Moreira MT Helmets - MSI 10 KTM 17 +11.577 0.703 145.3 2
15
J. Kelso CFMoto Racing PruestelGP
66 CF MOTO 17 +13.905 2.328 145.1 1
16
F. Farioli Red Bull KTM Tech 3
7 KTM 17 +16.674 2.769 144.9
17
D. Almansa Rivacold Snipers Team
92 Honda 17 +31.109 14.435 143.9
18 United Kingdom S. Ogden VisionTrack Racing Team 19 Honda 17 +31.282 0.173 143.9
19
S. Azman MT Helmets - MSI
63 KTM 17 +31.478 0.196 143.9
20 United Kingdom J. Whatley VisionTrack Racing Team 70 Honda 17 +31.551 0.073 143.9
21 France L. Fellon CIP 20 KTM 17 +31.587 0.036 143.9
22 Spain A. Carrasco BOE Motorsports 22 KTM 17 +32.969 1.382 143.8
23 Indonesia M. Aji Honda Team Asia 64 Honda 17 +38.000 5.031 143.4
dnf Japan T. Suzuki Leopard Racing 24 Honda 13 +4 Laps 4 Laps 144.7 Retirement
dnf Turkey D. Öncü Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 53 KTM 10 +7 Laps 3 Laps 145.9 Retirement
dnf
M. Bertelle Rivacold Snipers Team
18 Honda 10 +7 Laps 5.181 145.2 Accident
dnf Spain X. Artigas CFMoto Racing PruestelGP 43 CF MOTO 9 +8 Laps 1 Lap 143.5 Accident

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