Japanese GP joy for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia

Fairytale finish with Chantra and Ogura one-two, as Acosta holds off Dixon to complete podium

The fairytale continued for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia as they secured a historic one-two at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan. From just his second pole position in the intermediate class, Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) stole the spotlight in the Moto2™ race. The Thai rider dominated from start to finish, establishing a lead which ultimately proved insurmountable.

He was followed by teammate Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) who was unable to offer a repeat of last year’s Japanese GP win to his adoring home fans. However, with second place he did manage an 11th Moto2™ podium, doing so despite an illness which marred his weekend. Completing the top three was current Championship leader Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who held his own to extend his lead at the top of the riders’ standings at Mobility Resort Motegi.

The lights were barely out before the drama started. Chantra’s rapid launch ensured the holeshot to establish his lead. Meanwhile, Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) – who was fast away from seventh on the grid – and Pedro Acosta made aggressive starts before coming together, something that proved costly for both riders as they made life difficult for themselves early on. Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) took advantage, moving up to P2 briefly before going wide at Turn 5 and falling to fourth.

Alonso Lopez (GT Trevisan Beta Tools) made his way up to second from sixth, despite a double long-lap penalty looming over him for irresponsible riding last weekend at the IndianOil Grand Prix of India. Two laps in, Ogura made his move on Lopez, and the Idemitsu Honda Team Asia one-two that had become so familiar at Mobility Resort Motegi this weekend was restored.

Lopez would eventually have to pay the price for his misdemeanors in India, doing so with 15 laps to go and dropping into 10th, just ahead of Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team).

Pedro Acosta began to advance up the field, picking off Filip Salac (QJMotor Gresini Moto2™) before overtaking Jake Dixon to move into third, a podium position and crucially 16 points in the Championship that he wouldn’t relinquish without a fight.

Meanwhile, his title rival Arbolino struggled to replicate the form he'd enjoyed earlier in the campaign. He spent much of the race engaged in a duel with Aron Canet for ninth place, managing to hold off the Spanish rider until lap 13, at which point the Spaniard successfully made his move.

Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) found himself in the gravel trap at Turn 10, plummeting out of the points, with Fermin Aldeguer doing the same shortly afterwards. The duo rejoined, but unfortunately Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Team rider Kohta Nozane crashed out of his home Grand Prix at that same corner after a career-best Qualifying.

Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) had been progressing as well, before crashing out at Turn 14 with 12 laps to go, compounding what was a weekend to forget for Elf Marc VDS Racing.

On the final laps in Motegi, Jake Dixon sought to cut the gap with Acosta in the battle for third, but was unable to position himself to make a move on the #37. At the same time, Chantra’s lead, which had looked untouchable, suddenly started to shrink. Ai Ogura managed to make up sixth tenths of a second with eight laps to go, before Chantra regained control of the situation to hold his lead for a spectacular finish. It was a win which also meant that Kalex claimed the Moto2™ Constructors’ World Championship.

Third place was enough for Pedro Acosta to extend his lead in the riders’ standings, but as the attention turns to the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia, it's important to remember that his closest rival Tony Arbolino finished ahead of him in Mandalika in 2022. With so much at stake, make sure you don’t miss another critical Moto2™ encounter, this time from the 13th to the 15th of October in Indonesia.


Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia)



Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)



Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo)



Jake Dixon (GASGAS Aspar Team)



Filip Salac (Gresini Racing Moto2™)



Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team)



Marcos Ramírez (American Racing)



Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40)



Zonta Van Den Goorbergh (RW Racing GP)



Darryn Binder (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP)



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