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Kent given first chance as Moto3™ field tightens

Kent given first chance as Moto3™ field tightens

A dramatic last lap in Aragon saw the rest of the Moto3™ field close down on the Championship leaders.

With just a handful of corners left in Aragon, Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Team Moto3) crashed out of the race and handed Danny Kent (Leopard Racing) a potentially enormous lead in the Moto3™ World Championship. But just a few hundred meters from the line, disaster struck for the Brit as he himself was launched skywards, resulting in his first DNF of the season. As such the points gap between the Honda pair remains at 55-points as they head to the Motul Grand Prix of Japan, but with Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) having taken his third win of the season, Bastianini’s second is no longer safe.

If Kent can leave Motegi with a 75-point lead over Bastianini, he will be crowned the 2015 Moto3™ World Champion. This can be achieved by Kent winning and Bastianini finishing 11th or lower or Kent finishing second and Bastianini failing to score. It was in Motegi during the 2012 Moto3™ season that Kent claimed his first every grand prix victory. Since then he has not finished on the podium at the Japanese circuit, ending the 2014 race in sixth after a dramatic final lap. Both Miguel Oliveira and Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) remain in the title hunt, but are 75 and 79 points behind Kent respectively.

Bastianini will no doubt be doing his best to again close the gap to Kent, with just four races of the 2015 season left the Italian needs to return to winning ways. It’s not just Kent’s title chances the Gresini rider has to concern himself with, as after Aragon he is just 20 points ahead of Portugal’s Miguel Oliveira. If Bastianini can claim pole in Motegi he will become the first Italian rider to take three successive poles in the lightweight class since Mattia Pasini in 2007.

Third in the championship and as the leading KTM in the standings, Miguel Oliveira is doing all he can to remain in the top three of the world standings and push for the title itself. His best result in Japan is a fourth secured in 2013. During the 2014 race he was battling with leaders, but highsided with just nine laps remaining.

The battle for top KTM is tight; Romano Fenati sits just four points behind Oliveira. The Italian is yet to claim a podium at Motegi, having achieved a best result of fifth in 2013.

It will be a special round for both Hiroki Ono (Leopard Racing) and Tatsuki Suzuki (CIP) who will race in front of their home crowd for the first time as full time World Championship riders. The 2015 season has been a difficult rookie campaign for Ono with six crashes and a best finish of tenth last time out in Aragon. Suzuki has impressed many on the Mahindra, especially during the British GP when he scored his first points of 2015 with a strong tenth. The Aragon GP saw him end the race in 16th, just outside the points. Both riders will be eager to impress their home fans and produce strong races as they seek to secure their futures in the World Championship.

Tags:
Moto3, 2015, MOTUL GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN

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