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- Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) won the 125cc race in Japan in 2011 from pole position – this was his first victory in grand prix racing and his only win in the 125cc class. Zarco finished 4th two years ago at Motegi, and last year he won the race, from pole position, to clinch the Moto2™ world title.
- Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) finished fourth in the Moto3™ race at Motegi in his rookie season in 2012, and this is his best result at the circuit. In 2013 he qualified on pole at Motegi, then crashed at the final corner on lap sixteen when battling for a podium finish. Two years ago he finished 10th, and last year he was 11th. Motegi is the only circuit on the current schedule at which Rins has not had a podium finish in grand prix racing.
- Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) crashed out in the early stages of the race at Motegi in his rookie Moto2™ season in 2014, and last year he finished 8th in Japan. Lowes has started from pole five times in 2016, which is already the greatest number of poles in a single season by a British rider since Barry Sheene qualified on pole on seven occasions in 1977.
- Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) has finished on the podium at Motegi on three occasions in the Moto2™ class; third in both 2011 & 2013, and a race victory in 2014 when he qualified in second place on the grid, then got the holeshot and led the race from start to finish. Last year he crashed out of 4th place on the third lap.
- Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 VDS), who finished seventh two years ago at Motegi, missed the Japanese Grand Prix last year after breaking his leg in a motocross accident. He has finished on the podium four times in the last seven races.
- Takaaki Nakagami’s (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) best result at this home races is 7th in the Moto2™ race in 2012. Last year he crashed out of third place on the fifth lap; he re-joined the race and went on to finish in 22nd position.
- Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP) has finished on the podium twice at Motegi in the last three years; third in Moto3™ race in 2013 and second in the Moto2™ race last year.
- Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) finished 3rd last year at Motegi – his only podium finish of 2015.
- Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS), who picked up his first podium finish since moving up to the Moto2™ class at Aragon, has twice won the Moto3™ race at Motegi, in both 2013 and 2014.
- In addition to Luthi, Zarco and Marquez mentioned above, two other riders currently competing in the Moto2™ class have had grand prix wins at Motegi: Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) won the 125cc race back in 2007 and Danny Kent (Leopard Racing) won the Moto3™ race in 2012 – his first GP win.
4 years ago
4 years ago