Well, what a Grand Prix we had in Japan! An absolutely scintillating weekend of action has the Championship at its closest point since the opening round in Portimao, and that’s because Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) has once again completed the clean sweep to take maximum points from Motegi.
The #89’s successes in the Tissot Sprint and Sunday’s Grand Prix race saw him collect 37 points to move to within three points of Francesco Bagnaia atop the standings. The Ducati Lenovo Team rider’s total tally is now 319 after podiums in both the Sprint and race this weekend.
Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) remains in third overall, but has lost ground on the lead two, now sitting 54 points off the top after a P6 and P4 in Japan. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder has conceded a larger advantage to the top two, with the South African 118 points behind Bagnaia. The #33 did collect a Sprint podium on Saturday but dropped big points after crashing out of action on Sunday.
Rounding out the top five is Aleix Espargaro on 171 points with 11 points collected on Sunday enough to hold off Johann Zarco’s (Prima Pramac Racing) challenge for the time being. Heading to Indonesia, only nine points separate the two.
A little further back in the standings is the other factory Aprilia, Maverick Viñales. Top Gun comes away from Motegi with just a solitary point, but remains P7 with Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) absent from the round. Jack Miller’s (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) 16 point haul sees him make inroads into the two riders ahead of him, while Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) moves into the top 10 at the expense of the injured Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™).
1. Francesco Bagnaia – 319 points
2. Jorge Martin – 316 (-3)
3. Marco Bezzecchi – 265 (-54)
4. Brad Binder – 201 (-118)
5. Aleix Espargaro – 171 (-148)
6. Johann Zarco – 162 (-157)
7. Maverick Viñales – 139 (-180)
8. Luca Marini – 135 (-184)
9. Jack Miller – 125 (-194)
10. Fabio Quartararo – 111 (-208)