MotoGP Japanese GP: Chantra, Masia take Moto2 and Moto3 wins
Somkiat Chantra and Jaume Masia came away with victories in the Moto2 and Moto3 races respectively at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Thai rider Chantra scored only his second career win, and his first of 2023, in a dominant display from pole position, as he led every lap to lead a one-two for Honda Team Asia ahead of Ai Ogura.
Pedro Acosta meanwhile took a major step towards the title as he finished in third on a weekend to forget for chief title rival Tony Arbolino.
As Chantra checked out at the head of the field, pulling a two-second gap on the rest within four laps, Ogura had to battle his way back after a poor start from second grid left him fourth on the opening lap.
Jake Dixon slotted into second at the start but was passed by both Alonso Lopez and Ogura on the second lap of 19, and Ogura managed to grab second off Lopez - who dropped down the order with a double long-lap penalty held over from the Indian round - on lap three.
Once in clear air, Ogura was able to match Chantra's pace and started to close the gap in the latter half of the race, bringing down the 2.3s cushion held by his team-mate to as little as 1.2s.
But Chantra was not to be denied and took the chequered flag by 1.353s at the finish.
Ajo KTM man Acosta dropped from fourth on the grid to seventh on the first lap, but was back in his grid position by lap five and then took third when Lopez served the first of his penalties, staying there for the rest of the race.
Aspar's Dixon likewise rode a lonely race to fourth ahead of Filip Salac (Gresini) and Manuel Gonzalez (VR46 Master Camp).
Marc VDS rider Arbolino had to fight hard for his 11th-place finish, his second-worst result of the season, and now trails Acosta by 50 points with six rounds to go.
His team-mate Sam Lowes fared even worse however as he crashed out at the final corner on lap six.
Lopez (Speed Up) went from third to 10th after serving both of his penalties and finally wound up 13th.
Moto2 Japanese Grand Prix - race results:
|1||S. Chantra Honda Team Asia||35||Kalex||19||-||25|
|2||A. Ogura Honda Team Asia||79||Kalex||19||+1.353||1.353||20|
|3||P. Acosta Ajo Motorsport||37||Kalex||19||+3.080||1.727||16|
|4||J. Dixon Inde GASGAS Aspar Team||96||Kalex||19||+5.065||1.985||13|
|5||F. Salač QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2||12||Kalex||19||+10.492||5.427||11|
|6||M. Gonzalez Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp||18||Kalex||19||+12.961||2.469||10|
|7||M. Ramirez American Racing||24||Kalex||19||+14.352||1.391||9|
|8||A. Canet Pons Wegow Los40||40||Kalex||19||+16.360||2.008||8|
|9||Z. van den Goorbergh Fieten Olie Racing GP||84||Kalex||19||+17.692||1.332||7|
|10||D. Binder Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP||15||Kalex||19||+19.405||1.713||6|
|11||T. Arbolino Elf Marc VDS Racing Team||14||Kalex||19||+20.661||1.256||5|
|12||J. Roberts Italtrans Racing Team||16||Kalex||19||+20.809||0.148||4|
|13||A. López Beta Tools - Speed Up Racing||21||Boscoscuro B-21||19||+21.303||0.494||3|
|14||I. Guevara Inde GASGAS Aspar Team||28||Kalex||19||+21.477||0.174||2|
|15||B. Baltus Fieten Olie Racing GP||7||Kalex||19||+24.032||2.555||1|
|16||J. Alcoba QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2||52||Kalex||19||+25.623||1.591|
|17||B. Bendsneyder Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team||64||Kalex||19||+26.803||1.180|
|18||A. Arenas Ajo Motorsport||75||Kalex||19||+27.371||0.568|
T. Hada Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team
|20||A. Surra Forward Team||67||Forward F2||19||+33.825||4.413|
S. Agius Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP
|22||F. Aldeguer Beta Tools - Speed Up Racing||54||Boscoscuro B-21||19||+34.291||0.188|
S. Kelly Forward Team
B. Gomez Fantic Racing
|25||R. Skinner American Racing||33||Kalex||19||+43.069||3.434|
|26||M. Casadei Fantic Racing||9||Kalex||19||+45.508||2.439|
|dnf||S. García Pons Wegow Los40||11||Kalex||9||Retirement|
|dnf||D. Foggia Italtrans Racing Team||71||Kalex||8||Retirement|
|dnf||K. Nozane Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp||5||Kalex||7||Accident|
|dnf||S. Lowes Elf Marc VDS Racing Team||22||Kalex||6||Accident|
|View full results|
In the earlier Moto3 race, Masia overhauled Daniel Holgado to take the lead of the championship with his third win of the season.
Deniz Oncu (Ajo KTM) grabbed the holeshot from second on the grid as poleman Masia (Leopard Honda) made a poor start, with a group of four riders forming at the head of the field comprising Oncu, Holgado (Tech3 KTM), local hero Ayumu Sasaki (Intact Husqvarna) and Masia.
Ajo KTM man Oncu maintained the lead until Masia passed him at Turn 1 on lap 7 of 17, and while the leading group remain tightly bunched for several more laps, intense fighting between Oncu, Holgado and Sasaki allowed Masia to get away.
Oncu then crashed out of second place on lap 11 at the Turn 9 left-hander, by which point Masia had extended a comfortable lead of more than one second that he would maintain to the finish.
Sasaki - whose move to Moto2 in 2024 with the VR46 Master Camp team was confirmed on the eve of his home race - came out on top in an entertaining duel over second place.
Holgado managed to pass Sasaki at Turn 11 on the final lap only to make a poor exit from the final corner and concede the position by 0.056s.
It means Masia now leads the standings by six points from Sasaki, with Holgado slipping to third, nine behind the new leader.
Moto3 Japanese Grand Prix - race results:
|1||J. Masia Leopard Racing||5||Honda||17||33'30.018||146.1||25|
|2||A. Sasaki Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP||71||Husqvarna||17||+1.546||1.546||146.0||20|
|3||D. Holgado Red Bull KTM Tech 3||96||KTM||17||+1.602||0.056||146.0||16|
|4||S. Nepa Angeluss MTA Team||82||KTM||17||+5.200||3.598||145.8||13|
I. Ortola Angeluss MTA Team
|6||D. Munoz BOE Motorsports||44||KTM||17||+8.900||3.670||145.5||10|
D. Alonso GAVIOTA GASGAS Aspar Team
|8||K. Toba SIC58 Squadra Corse||27||Honda||17||+9.253||0.294||145.5||8|
|9||R. Yamanaka GAVIOTA GASGAS Aspar Team||6||GASGAS||17||+9.629||0.376||145.4||7|
J. Antonio Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
C. Veijer Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP
|12||T. Furusato Honda Team Asia||72||Honda||17||+10.195||0.391||145.4||4|
|13||R. Rossi SIC58 Squadra Corse||54||Honda||17||+10.874||0.679||145.3||3|
|14||D. Moreira MT Helmets - MSI||10||KTM||17||+11.577||0.703||145.3||2|
|15||J. Kelso CFMoto Racing PruestelGP||66||CF MOTO||17||+13.905||2.328||145.1||1|
F. Farioli Red Bull KTM Tech 3
D. Almansa Rivacold Snipers Team
|18||S. Ogden VisionTrack Racing Team||19||Honda||17||+31.282||0.173||143.9|
S. Azman MT Helmets - MSI
|20||J. Whatley VisionTrack Racing Team||70||Honda||17||+31.551||0.073||143.9|
|21||L. Fellon CIP||20||KTM||17||+31.587||0.036||143.9|
|22||A. Carrasco BOE Motorsports||22||KTM||17||+32.969||1.382||143.8|
|23||M. Aji Honda Team Asia||64||Honda||17||+38.000||5.031||143.4|
|dnf||T. Suzuki Leopard Racing||24||Honda||13||+4 Laps||4 Laps||144.7||Retirement|
|dnf||D. Öncü Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||53||KTM||10||+7 Laps||3 Laps||145.9||Retirement|
|dnf||M. Bertelle Rivacold Snipers Team||18||Honda||10||+7 Laps||5.181||145.2||Accident|
|dnf||X. Artigas CFMoto Racing PruestelGP||43||CF MOTO||9||+8 Laps||1 Lap||143.5||Accident|
|View full results|
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