Japanese Grand Prix Quote Machine Final

Rossi: “Chaos”


GP of Japan – Race Classification:

1. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 42’41.492
2. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT +0.870
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team +1.325
4. Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +2.608
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL +9.140
6. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT +9.187
7. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +9.306
8. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +10.695
9. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati Team +14.216
10. Jack MILLER Pramac Racing +18.909
11. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +25.554
12. Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 +27.870
13. Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing +29.983
14. Mika KALLIO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +31.232
15. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +32.546
16. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU +37.482
17. Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team +40.410
18. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing +43.458
19. Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 +46.206
20. Sylvain GUINTOLI Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +50.235
Not Classified
46 Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP
29 Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

MotoGP World Championship Standings:

1. Marc MARQUEZ Honda 350
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 231
3. Alex RINS Suzuki 176
4. Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 176
5. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 169
6. Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 163
7. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 145
8. Jack MILLER Ducati 125
9. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 113

MotoGP Press

Marquez escapes the clutches of Quartararo at Motegi

The reigning Champion brings it home for Honda, Quartararo wraps up Rookie of the Year and Dovizioso hits a century in Japan
Sunday, 20 October 2019

The riders’ Championship may already have been decided before the paddock arrived at the Twin Ring Motegi, but the Motul Grand Prix of Japan saw plenty of milestones: Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took a commanding victory to wrap up the constructors’ Championship for Honda, Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) pushed him as hard as he could and took second to secure Rookie of the Year and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) pounced on Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) to take his 100th Grand Prix podium.

It wasn’t the perfect getaway for polesitter Marquez but he held his advantage into Turn 1, with Quartararo braking later to get underneath his teammate Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and start his stalking of the reigning Champion early. But that allowed the fast-starting Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) to grab P3 on the exit of Turn 2, and a frantic opening lap then unfolded as Quartararo passed Marquez for the lead only for the number 93 to pounce back at the tight Turn 10. It was a late lunge from the Honda man as the duo ran slightly wide, with Quartararo looking for the cutback but almost losing the front, foot slipping into the air. That gave third place Miller a sniff at second, but the door quickly closed and the Aussie almost hit the back of the Frenchman ahead.

At the front, meanwhile, Marquez had pulled the pin. Eight tenths were his advantage over Quartararo as the duo started to break clear of the chasing pack, that then becoming a second as the rookie hovered close but not quite close enough. Further behind, the battle for the final place on the podium was getting intense, however, with Miller holding P3 as Morbidelli, Viñales and Dovizioso all started to close in…

It didn’t take long for Morbidelli to lead the trio past Miller, but the group was over three seconds off Quartararo at the midpoint of the race and after staying within almost-striking distance of the reigning Champion for the first half, ‘El Diablo’ was also starting to drop back. With 11 laps to go, Dovi took Morbidelli before Viñales followed suit and it soon became Dovizioso vs Viñales for the final rostrum place, with two different machines making for an interesting concertina of a duel.

As the final few laps appeared on the horizon, Quartararo had been dropped by Marquez but the Frenchman would need to be careful. Dovi had fended off Viñales and the Ducati man was on a charge, closing in by eight tenths in a single lap. Would it be enough? On the last lap, everything suddenly tightened up as Marquez cruised round for the win and Quartararo closed in; Dovizioso closing in on him…but the Italian couldn’t quite get close enough to make a final lap lunge. Marquez took the win, Quartararo second and Dovizioso third, all with big reasons to spray the prosecco with a smile on the podium: manufacturer glory, rookie genius and a century of rostrum finishes.

Viñales took fourth after just being denied the podium, ahead of Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) in P5 as the Brit beat Morbidelli by 0.047 on the run to the line to grab his first top five finish since the Czech GP. Morbidelli’s early podium hopes sadly faded as the Italian picked up P6 in Japan, with Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) recovering from P11 on the grid to P7 in the race. Teammate Joan Mir rode a solid race to finish just over a second behind Rins in P8, with the Ducatis of Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) and Miller rounding out the top 10.

One name noticeably absent from that run down is that of nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), who had a tough race that then ended early in a crash, as was the situation for Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini).

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was 11th and got the better of impressive KTM-riding rookie Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) in P12, with Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) taking 13th. Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) made it three KTMs in the points in P14, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) the final man to score.

That’s it from Japan and another weekend to remember for Marquez and Honda. Step two of three is now complete with the riders’ and constructors’ titles sewn up, can they catch Ducati in the team standings? Marquez also equalled Mick Doohan’s 54 premier class win tally at Motegi, and it’s not long to go until the riders are back out on track at Phillip Island for the eight-time Champion to try and go one better. Meanwhile Quartararo will arrive as Rookie of the Year, and he’ll also have his first shot at taking the honour of top Independent Team rider…on Miller’s home turf. Tune in next weekend for the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Marc Marquez: “It was not easy, especially because we were pushing, I was pushing from the beginning because the strategy was clear. I tried to open a gap from the beginning because I felt strong in Warm Up but I started to play a lot with the switches; like you saw with fuel I was on the limit. It’s one of the worst circuits for it here so I was playing with it, then I pushed and when I had two seconds I started to play with it again. It wasn’t easy to ride that race because you have to think about a lot of things on the bike but I was able to manage it in a good way and finish the race on the limit. And the Repsol Honda Team did a great job because they found the best compromise!”

 

Suzuki

RINS AND MIR MAKE SEVENTH AND EIGHTH IN MOTEGI

Team Suzuki Press Office – October 20.

Alex Rins: 7th (+ 9.306)
Joan Mir: 8th (+ 10.695)
Sylvain Guintoli: 20th (+ 50.235)

• Alex Rins keeps pushing on to take 7th.
• Joan Mir continues positive run of form with 8th.
• Team thank Suzuki for super support at home GP.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders headed into the 16th race of the season keen to put on a strong performance in front of Motegi’s home fans. Joan Mir and Alex Rins opted for the medium-medium tyre combination in the cooler conditions and took steady starts off the line.

By the end of the first lap, Mir had already placed himself inside the Top 10, and his team-mate followed just a couple of laps later. From that point on, Rins began to carve through and before long he was up into 7th place. Mir, meanwhile, was firmly holding onto his spot within the Top 10.

With 10 laps to go, Alex had made a move on Miller for 6th spot and was looking to close down the Top 5. But as the complex race unfolded a new battle emerged between Morbidelli, Crutchlow, and Rins. Despite his desire to push on for a Top 5 finish, Alex crossed the line in 7th. However, with this result, he holds onto to third in the championship standings.

Mir lost time while battling for positions, but he was still able to finish one spot behind his team-mate in 8th place – another consistent result for the rookie who is building in confidence all the time.

Sylvain Guintoli brought his GSX-RR home in 20th place on his final wildcard run of the year, gaining useful information for the team.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“Alex did a lot of overtakes today but in the end he had to settle for 7th place, it was a difficult race. Joan also did well today with another good result. Both riders had a lot of potential today, but they couldn’t quite get the finishes they wanted. Of course, we will work hard and try to find a way to improve and be ready for next weekend. Thanks also to Sylvain and the test team who have helped us here.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“Alex and Joan did a good race. Today it was difficult to finish higher than they did, because starting from 11th and 12th on the grid made it tricky. But they both recovered well, and their pace was actually very good. We know we have to pace so we just need to try again next time. This result is consistent, and we’re pleased. Sylvain got a lot of information for us too. Thank you to everyone from the factory who has been visiting us and supporting us this weekend.”

Alex Rins:

“I lost out a lot off the start, I really made a bad get away. But it was like that and there was nothing I could do apart from try to recoup positions. I stayed calm and focused and I was able to improve and move up the order. I was fighting with Crutchlow a lot and I’m disappointed that I finished behind him, because I felt I had potential for Top 5 but in the end we ran out of laps. I’m pleased to hold onto 3rd place in the standings, and it has been fantastic to be in Japan. Thank you to Mr. Toshihiro Suzuki for being with us all weekend and giving us a lot of support.”

Joan Mir:

“I’m really happy about my weekend in general, and my race. Although I didn’t improve my position compared with Thailand, I feel I have taken another step in terms of performance. All weekend I’ve felt good with the bike and I know I’m getting closer to the podium and the top guys. I lost a lot of time today while I tried to pass Petrucci and that was a shame because I felt I could’ve done even better and closed the others. Anyway, it’s been amazing to be here in Japan for the first time as a Suzuki rider and to ride in front of the fans, and especially the President.”

Sylvain Guintoli:

“This weekend has been good. I really enjoyed FP3 in the wet and I felt so good on the bike. During the race we focused on gaining as much useful information as possible, and everything went OK. After a difficult start I settled into a consistent rhythm. I’m pleased to have been with the team for this home GP.”

GP of Japan – Race Classification:

1. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 42’41.492
2. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT +0.870
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team +1.325
4. Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +2.608
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL +9.140
6. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT +9.187
7. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +9.306
8. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +10.695
9. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati Team +14.216
10. Jack MILLER Pramac Racing +18.909
11. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +25.554
12. Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 +27.870
13. Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing +29.983
14. Mika KALLIO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +31.232
15. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +32.546
16. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU +37.482
17. Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team +40.410
18. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing +43.458
19. Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 +46.206
20. Sylvain GUINTOLI Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +50.235
Not Classified
46 Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP
29 Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

MotoGP World Championship Standings:

1. Marc MARQUEZ Honda 350
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 231
3. Alex RINS Suzuki 176
4. Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 176
5. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 169
6. Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 163
7. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 145
8. Jack MILLER Ducati 125
9. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 113
10. Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 100
11. Pol ESPARGARO KTM 85
12. Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 74
13. Joan MIR Suzuki 66
14. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 47
15. Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 37
16. Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 33
17. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia 33
18. Johann ZARCO KTM 27
19. Jorge LORENZO Honda 23
20. Tito RABAT Ducati 18
21. Stefan BRADL Honda 16
22. Michele PIRRO Ducati 9
23. Sylvain GUINTOLI Suzuki 7
24. Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM 7
25. Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 5
26. Mika KALLIO KTM 2
27. Bradley SMITH Aprilia

 

Honda

Grand Prix of Japan
MotoGP 2019 Round 16
Unstoppable Marquez cruises to Motegi win to equal Doohan as most successful Honda rider

A tenth win of 2019 for Marc Marquez wrapped up the Constructors Championship for Honda after an inch-perfect ride in Japan.

Victory for Marc Marquez at Honda’s home round in Motegi earned Honda the Premier Class Constructors Championship for a record 25th time. As a result, Honda claim both the Riders and Constructors Championships in the same year for the 20th occasion as they celebrate the 60th Anniversary of competition. It also marks Honda’s 70th Constructors Championship across all classes.

Launching perfectly off the line, Marc Marquez went around the outside of his competition to lead through the first corner. Fabio Quartararo tried to respond to the pace of the eight-time World Champion, but within just three laps Marquez had an advantage of over one second and followed it up with successive flying laps. By lap 13 the gap had grown to two seconds and the reigning World Champion switched his attention to managing the race. Crossing the line 0.870s ahead of Quartararo after easing his pace in the closing laps, the Repsol Honda Team rider continued his perfect record of top-two finishes in 2019. The victory is the tenth 2019 and his fourth in a row, the first time Marquez has achieved four-straight wins in the premier class since 2014.

Taking his 54th win in the premier class, Marc Marquez draws level with the legendary Mick Doohan as the most successful premier class Honda rider. The 14 podiums, 13 of them in succession, of 2019 also move Marc Marquez to 350 World Championship points, just 33 points shy of Jorge Lorenzo’s all-time premier class points record of 383 with 75 points still to play for.

Making his 200th premier class start, Jorge Lorenzo battled through a difficult start to the Japanese GP. Lorenzo crossed the line in 17th position and while not satisfied with the result, is pleased with his improved feeling and pace aboard the Honda RC213V in the closing laps. The finish saw Lorenzo reduce the margin between himself and the race winner to its smallest margin since his return from injury – a trend he will look to continue at Phillip Island in just a week’s time.

The MotoGP World Championship now heads directly to round 17, the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island from October 25 to 27.

Marc Marquez
1st

“It wasn’t an easy race. I was pushing from the beginning, the strategy was clear – I had to try to open a gap. I felt strong and with the team we had calculated a pace of 1’46 low but then I was able to ride in 1’45 high – good news for me but I had to slow down a little bit. I worked on riding as smooth as possible and I was able to open the gap to two seconds but in the final two laps we were getting a little low on fuel because Motegi is always very demanding. There was a little bit of pressure to win the Constructors Championship in Japan, but I love the pressure and it is great to win it here for Honda because everyone works so hard. All the Repsol Honda Team did a great job to find the best setting and strategy for this race.”

Jorge Lorenzo
17th

“We made an improvement on the bike this weekend and my feeling was better. Today in the second part of the race I was able to enjoy riding the bike again and go much faster than at the start of the race. At the end we were closer to the front than any of the other races since my injury, a second from the fastest in the last laps. The problem was at the beginning, I couldn’t play with the bike as much as at the end and this is where we lost all our time. But towards the end I was able to little by little, brake later and go faster. With the pace at the end I could have been closer to the leader. Now we try to keep the momentum for Phillip Island.”

Ducati

Andrea Dovizioso steps onto the podium in the Grand Prix of Japan with a third place at Motegi, Danilo Petrucci finishes the race in ninth position

Andrea Dovizioso was back on the podium again in the GP of Japan at the end of a great comeback race that saw him fight his way through from the third row at the start to third place at the chequered flag. The Ducati Team rider, who got off to a good start, finished the opening lap in fifth place and then at the mid-point first passed Miller and then Morbidelli, before subsequently holding off attacks from Viñales. In the last few laps Andrea then closed the gap to Quartararo in second, and he took the flag just under five-tenths of a second behind the French rider.

With today’s third place Dovizioso has now reached a total of 100 career podiums in GP racing.

Danilo Petrucci, who also started from the third row, unfortunately lost a few positions in the first half of the race but was then able to resume a good pace after lap 12 and he worked his way up to ninth, finishing in the same position at the flag.

In the Riders’ standings, Andrea Dovizioso consolidates his second place, with an advantage of 55 points over Rins and Viñales in third, while Danilo Petrucci remains in fifth place, six points ahead of Quartararo.

Ducati still lies second in the Constructors’ classification and the Ducati Team first in the special Teams’ standings.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 3rd
“At the end of the race my feeling with the bike was really excellent, so much so that we did our fastest lap on the penultimate lap. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to pass Quartararo, who I saw was in a bit of difficulty in the final stages, but I think I could have overtaken him if there had been one more lap. I’m quite disappointed with my first part of the race however, because despite having good grip we were unable to be fast enough. We’ll now have to analyze the situation in detail to understand what the problem was and be ready for the race at Phillip Island.”

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 9th
“I can’t be satisfied with my result, even though I fought a lot in the race. Unfortunately, I struggled a lot in the early laps with the front tyre, which was heating up too much, but when I managed to get it back down to the right temperature I started to lap with good times and I was fast in the final part of the race. Something’s still missing for me to get back and race at the top, but I feel that I’m getting back to being close to my level at the start of the season. It’s clear that we must, and we want to do better and luckily Australia is only in one weeks’ time.”

The MotoGP World Championship now moves to Australia where the Australian Grand Prix will be held at the Phillip Island circuit next weekend (25th-27th October).

Yamaha

VIÑALES COLLECTS FOURTH PLACE AND IMPORTANT CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS IN JAPAN

Motegi (Japan), 20th October 2019

GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN

RACE

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales was in contention for a podium at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan but ultimately had to settle for fourth place. Valentino Rossi needed a bit of time to get up to speed. He was challenging for a place in the top 10, but a crash four laps before the end cut his race short.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales was pushing for a podium finish during Yamaha’s home GP at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. He came close but finished today‘s race in fourth place. Team-mate Valentino Rossi had a difficult start to the Motul Grand Prix of Japan yet continued to show great determination. He fought himself back up the rankings from 14th to 10th, but a small crash on lap 21 ended his challenge.

Viñales started from fourth and held the position coming through the first turn, manoeuvring himself on the inside, but when the pack flicked it left for the next corner, he lost two places. He completed the first lap in seventh but was still close to the riders in front of him, who were all battling for second.

The Spaniard made his way up to sixth on lap 3 and started shadowing Andrea Dovizioso‘s every move. Together they overtook Jack Miller and Franco Morbidelli, with barely any daylight between them. Riding in fourth place, the number-12 rider was clearly pushing for a podium result but wasn’t able to put in a move. He took the chequered flag 2.608s from first.

Rossi had a difficult start to the Japanese GP, launching off 10th place on the grid, and completed lap 1 in 14th place. The Italian had his work cut out for him, but he was getting through the task gradually, gaining a position in the next two laps and another one two laps after that.

Now in 12th position, the Doctor put pressure on Pol Espargaró and passed him on lap 8. The next challenge for him was to close a 2.8s gap for a place inside the top 10. By the end of lap 12 he arrived at the back of Danilo Petrucci‘s bike and by lap 15 he started a tug of war for 10th place. The Doctor was in 11th when a sudden small crash in Turn 1 on lap 21 ended his race.

Today’s fourth place sees Viñales hold fourth in the championship standings, equalling the point tally of the rider in third place. Rossi now finds himself in seventh place in the overall rankings, 31 points behind his team-mate. Yamaha remains third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stay in third place in the team classification.

The team will resume the MotoGP action at the Phillip Island circuit next weekend for the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, held from October 25th – 27th.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI
TEAM DIRECTOR

“We had hoped for more in today’s race. Maverick lost a few positions on the busy opening lap and it took some time for him to recover them. Looking at the pace he had during the race, it cost him a podium. Anyway, he scored important points that allow him to be a serious contender for third place in the rider standings, which he can continue to fight for next weekend in Australia. Today definitely was worse for Valentino. He was already further down the starting grid than he would have liked, on the fourth row, and on top of that he had a difficult start. Later his race was ended by a small crash in Turn 1, four laps before the chequered flag. Luckily, he was uninjured. It was a weekend to forget for him, but we get to start with a clean slate on Friday at the Phillip Island circuit.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES
MAVERICK VIÑALES

“Actually, for me it was a very positive race. At the start I did a lot of fighting with Cal and Dovi. I tried to overtake quickly, but it was very difficult. At the end I found a very good rhythm on the last laps, trying to fight for the podium with Dovi, but somehow I couldn’t overtake. We made the most of our bike in this race and we’ll try to do more in Australia. I will do my best in Phillip Island, I will try to push and start from the front row, I think that’s very important. If we had started from first row today, we might have been able to fight for the race. We need to keep working, we’re very close, we just need a little bit more, which we’ll find for sure. Phillip Island is a track I really like, but anyway I will go there with the same expectations as I had for here, trying to work very hard and to be on the podium again.”

VALENTINO ROSSI

“I had quite a bad start, not in the first corner but after that I was in the middle of the chaos and lost time. My pace wasn‘t good enough to gain positions fast. I managed to recover a few, but I wasn‘t very strong. On some laps my pace wasn‘t so bad, but everybody was fast, so that made it very difficult to challenge from behind. I haven‘t seen the data yet, but I think I made a small mistake at the end, in Turn 1, and I crashed. It was a difficult race.”

 

Aprilia

TWO TECHNICAL PROBLEMS COMPROMISE ALEIX’S (FIFTEENTH) AND ANDREA (CRASHED) PERFORMANCE

After qualifying and warm up at a good level of performance, Aleix Espargaró’s Japanese race was hindered by a problem with acceleration, probably due to a malfunction which is now being assessed by the Aprilia engineers. The Spanish rider, who was in third row, started well, staying with the top-10 group, but then he lost ground, managing to stay in the points zone but far from the positions he deserved as shown during the weekend.

Hard luck for teammate Andrea Iannone as well, crashing during the eighth lap while lying sixteenth and making up ground with encouraging times. The crash was generated by a technical problem, which hindered his RS-GP.

MASSIMO RIVOLA – APRILIA RACING CEO
“This is a difficult moment. I feel like I need to send a message, first and foremost to ourselves. After qualifying and warm up, expectations for the race were high. The start was good but we realised straight away that something wasn’t right. In fact, Aleix was unable to replicate the pace he had demonstrated in warm up. When he came back to the garage, he complained of a lack of power. We need to look into the cause. Andrea also crashed, but after a technical problem. These are problems that happened to both on new engines and it is our duty to figure out these problems.”

 

KTM

After two days of mixed conditions the Grand Prix of Japan – the first of three rounds of MotoGP in three weeks – took place in a dry and warmer climate at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit; a course distinctive for its hard-braking zones and emphasis on acceleration.

The sixteenth MotoGP sprint of the year took place over twenty-four laps of the facility and Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro was again the brand’s top runner. The Spaniard set-off from 15th position and battled with his brother, Aleix, in the opening phases before establishing himself in the second group where he finished a lonely 11th. Espargaro registered his fourteenth set of world championship points in 2019 and for the second time in a row after recovering from left wrist surgery.

Mika Kallio entered the top fifteen for the first time in just three races and for what was his first competitive outing at Motegi in four years. The Fin pushed his way to a creditable 14th for two satisfying championship points. Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira rode brilliantly with his troublesome right shoulder to defeat his rivals around him mid-pack and cross the line in sight of Espargaro’s rear wheel. 12th place was the Portuguese’ best classification in five rounds and since taking 8th position at the Grand Prix of Austria. Teammate Hafizh Syahrin brought his #55 RC16 home in 19th.

Pol Espargaro: “Not a great weekend but starting from 15th position and to finish 11th – almost in the top ten and four seconds from Jack [Miller] – is not too bad. We started well but then dropped back and it was hard to keep the pace. Not what we wanted but we’ll look to Phillip Island which is one of my favourite tracks and one of the best in the world. We were in the top ten all weekend there last year so let’s see if we can do the same and enjoy the race because the last few have been tough.”

Miguel Oliveira: “A fun race! It was a tough start for me, I couldn’t position myself very well in the first two corners so I lost a lot of time in the first laps. It took me a while to gain my pace but once I got a bit of speed I could manage to do a very good race and finish inside the points, which was again our target. At the end of the race, I felt much better than in Thailand, so physically it’s a good sign. I just hope to keep this good line and continue to work together with the team for the next race in Phillip Island.”

Mika Kallio: “If we take the whole weekend into account then I think it finished quite positively today. To fight for points was the minimum target and we managed that. We were not far from Pol and Miguel was part of the group. It was just a bit of a shame I could not find the way to fight against them. Maybe just by riding I can keep improving and step-by-step get closer; it was only my first race this season and I am getting closer to my teammate. Phillip Island will be a completely different track compared to here and hopefully with more grip.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “It was a good race from lap one until lap 18 but after that I knew I would struggle to control. I’m really sorry for my team, as I wanted to stay with Nakagami. I passed him and he passed me back, so I believe we could have made a decent race. Overall, it’s not bad, but I’m very sorry for everybody that I didn’t manage to do better.”

Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “The result of the race is not too bad with three riders in the points but we wanted one in the top ten. However, since the beginning of the weekend it was tricky to get to this stage. FP3 was wet and so was qualification and this did not help us to get set-up for the best performance. We will take the result and the points today. Everybody was pushing hard. Let’s go to Phillip Island and try again.”

 

LCR

CRUTCHLOW FINISHES STRONG TO CLAIM FIFTH AT MOTEGI
PRESS RELEASE: 20 October 2019 | Motegi Grand Prix

Cal Crutchlow took fifth place at the Grand Prix of Japan after an excellent ride at the Twin Ring Motegi on Sunday. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider produced a well-timed late charge to ensure he finished at the front of the pack who were chasing the lead group of four riders as Honda clinched the Constructors’ World Championship at their home race.

Despite some moisture in the air, the race took place in dry conditions and Crutchlow made a good start as he moved into fourth at the first corner. Although he then lost some places in the first half of the race as he managed his pace, the Briton finished strongly and pipped Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli on the line to secure a positive result.
Cal Crutchlow – 5th

“Today was a good result for me and the team. We are happy this weekend, we qualified fifth and finished fifth with a strong race. I wish my pace would have been a little bit quicker in the early part of the race, but I had to manage the situation with the bike to make sure that I finished the race and I was pleased to be able to catch some riders in the end, have a good battle and finish fifth on the line. It was a good Grand Prix for Honda with Marc (Marquez) winning and me inside the top five and I want to congratulate HRC for clinching the Constructors’ Championship here today. After a tough weekend in Thailand, we’ve bounced back to be able to get a good result here today. I want to thank my team for their hard work and we now look forward to Phillip Island with some great memories from the past and some not such good memories. I also want to wish Taka well with his surgery and hope he recovers well and is back stronger than ever next season.”

 

 

 

 


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