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Antonelli puts on a master class in the wet to win

Antonelli puts on a master class in the wet to win

Niccolo Antonelli wins in the wet at Motegi ahead of Oliveira and Navarro, while Kent finishes in sixth and fails to clinch the title.

Ongetta-Rivacold’s Antonelli put on a brilliant display of riding in the wet at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan to take just his second career Moto3™ victory by over a second from Red Bull KTM’s Miguel Oliveira (+1.053s) with Jorge Navarro (+8.529s) completing the podium on the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda.

Championship leader Danny Kent saw his chances of lifting the title at Motegi fade after a bad start, but recovered to finish in sixth ahead of his main title rival Enea Bastianini on the Gresini Racing Team Moto3 Honda. This sees the title battle continue to the Australian GP with Kent extending his lead to 56 points over the Italian.

Track conditions in the morning saw Warm Up for all three classes delayed by two hours and therefore the Moto3™ race was reduced to a 13-lap sprint in the wet.

Antonelli shot off at the start and established a 4 second lead at the front of the field, while Kent found himself down in 16th at the end of the first lap, while his main title rival Bastianini was running in sixth.

Kent managed to re-group and after 4 laps started to charge his way through the field and with 3 laps to go, he had made his way up to 7th and was chasing down Bastianini. Oliveira in second was now gradually reducing all the while Antonelli’s gap at the front and with two laps to go the Italian's lead was down to 2.1s.

On the last lap this gap was down to 1 second, and Kent had closed up on Bastianini. The Brit timed it perfectly to take Bastianini at turn 7 and move into sixth at the expense of the 'Beast'.

Antonelli kept his cool to keep Oliveira at bay and take the race win with Oliveira claiming his sixth podium of the season in second. Jorge Navarro made it back-to-back podiums as he crossed the line in third.

RBA Racing’s Isaac Viñales (+11.074s) crashed on the penultimate lap at turn 10 but incredibly remounted to finish in fourth ahead of Drive M7 SIC’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin (+13.043s) who claimed his best result of the season in fifth.

Kent’s (+15.224s) last lap move saw him finish half a second ahead of Bastianini, while Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo), John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG) and Efren Vazquez (Leopard Racing) completed the top ten.

There were crashes in the tricky conditions for Remy Gardner, Livio Loi, Hiroki Ono, Alexis Masbou, Alessandro Tonucci and wildcard Ryo Mizuno.

Fabio Quartararo (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was forced to pull out of the weekend after Friday’s practice due to the pain he was suffering from the broken ankle he sustained at Mugello.

Check out the full Moto3™ race results and the latest championship standings.

Tags:
Moto3, 2015, MOTUL GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, RAC, Miguel Oliveira, Jorge Navarro, Niccolò Antonelli, Ongetta-Rivacold

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