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Hard fought Japanese triumph for Luthi

Hard fought Japanese triumph for Luthi

The 23-lap Moto2™ contest at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan saw Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Sitag) take maximum points, with the Swiss rider joined on the podium by Maverick Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) and Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team).

Luthi rode superbly from second on the grid, getting into the lead on the first lap and managing the gap throughout the race for his first victory since 2012 and his second podium this year.

He eventually crossed the line 1.209s ahead of the increasingly impressive Viñales who pushed hard in the final laps. Rabat rode steadily to third, running in fifth place early in the race after a slow start but doing enough to collect crucial championship points.

Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham) looked to be in contention for a podium result in the first half of the race but was ultimately fourth, whilst Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) could only manage fifth. Rabat’s lead in the standings increased to 38 points with three races to go.

The top ten was rounded out by Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team), Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team), Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia), Ricard Cardus (Tech 3) and Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2).

Riccardo Russo (Tasca Racing Moto2) fell early in the opening lap. Sam Lowes (Speed Up) crashed out several laps later while fighting for a top ten. Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing) fell with 17 laps to go and were both able to initially remount, but neither would finish the race.

Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team) also crashed and remounted, but pulled into the pits with Pasini several laps later.

The closing laps saw Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3) and Axel Pons (AGR Team) fall. There was a rare mistake from Dominique Aegerter (Technomag CarXpert) late on, the Swiss rider remounting for 18th.

For full Moto2 race results from Motegi click here.


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