Motegi WTCC: Monteiro wins for Honda, Lopez and Muller both retire
Tiago Monteiro handed Honda a home race victory in the World Touring Car Championship finale at Motegi, while Citroen's title contenders Jose Maria Lopez and Yvan Muller both retired
Campos Chevrolet driver Hugo Valente started on pole but lost out to the eventual race winner after Monteiro made a superior getaway, as a chaotic start unfolded behind.
Championship leader Lopez was among the victims, picking up wheel damage that forced him to retire.
Clear of the early scrapes, Monteiro and Valente were allowed to build a gap between themselves and their rivals.
The Portuguese ex-Formula 1 driver's ultimately commanding second win of 2015 was achieved despite an engine change penalty leaving him at the back of the race one grid. He had sacrificed qualifying for the opener to try to get as high up the race two reverse grid as possible.
While Monteiro's race was untroubled, Valente was eventually reeled in by Rob Huff's Lada after the Brit made up the places due to rivals' woes.
He made up two when contact with Gabriele Tarquini sent Ma Qing Hua into a spin, before Muller's retirement due to a loose bonnet also aided Huff's cause.
Huff wasn't the only beneficiary, with the rapidly advancing Sebastien Loeb on his rear throughout.
Valente's defending proved good enough to allow the recovering Tarquini to join the battle for third.
He opportunistically grabbed fourth from Loeb after a failed attempt to pass Huff backfired on the Citroen driver, though the World Rally Championship legend regained the place just before the chequered flag.
Tarquini's disappointment was compounded further with a post-race time penalty for the Ma incident dropping him to 12th.
Ma followed the Italian across the line for sixth - which later became fifth - ahead of the hastily repaired ROAL Motorsport Chevrolets of Tom Chilton and Tom Coronel.
Nicolas Lapierre ended his first WTCC weekend with his best result of eighth, after Tarquini's penalty.
Rounding off the top 10 on the road was Stefano D'Aste, who beat Mehdi Bennani in the final few laps.
Race one runner-up Norbert Michelisz stopped with engine problems, while front row starter Nicky Catsburg's Lada had power steering issues.
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