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Zarco earns first GP victory in Japan

Zarco earns first GP victory in Japan

Johann Zarco achieved the first Grand Prix win of his career after battling with the Bankia Aspar machines of Nicolas Terol and Héctor Faubel.

Avant-AirAsia-Ajo rider Zarco conquered a long awaited first victory with a clear win at the Motegi circuit on Sunday. The Frenchman has twice before thought himself the winner of the 125cc class this season, first in Catalunya, where an illegal overtake cost him 20 seconds and then in a dead heat with Héctor Faubel in the Sachsenring.

Zarco started from pole but rival Terol blasted off the start into the lead, taking team mate Faubel with him along with a determined Zarco. The three broke from the pack, opening up a 5 second gap with Faubel dropping back to halfway through the race. The 21 year old Frenchman made his move on Terol on lap 14, with the Spaniard attempting to take back the lead but running too deep on the brakes and allowing Zarco to cross the line over 5 seconds ahead of Terol in second and Faubel a further 13 seconds back in third.

A remarkable recovery was made by Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing), who started the race from the back of the field after failing to complete the sighting lap due to a broken chain. The 16 year old took fourth place ahead of a pack battling for the position, with Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany) following in fifth, Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) a close sixth, Alberto Moncayo (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) and Adrián Martín (Bankia Aspar) in seventh and eighth. Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) had been a contender in that fight for fourth until retiring from the race with a mechanical issue.

Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) crossed the line 2 seconds ahead of Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI) to take ninth, while Jakub Kornfeil (Ongetta-Centro Seta) and Marcel Schrötter (Mahindra Racing) followed in eleventh and twelfth.

Josep Rodriguez (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing) and Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) collided in the early part of the race, crashing but both rejoining the race. Rodriguez entered the box with mechanical issues while Salom finished in 23rd position.


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