2017 Motegi Race Round Up: Battle Of The Titans

Motegi was tempestuous, in every sense of the word. It was as if the elements were conspiring to become a metaphor for the 2017 MotoGP season. The weather is always a factor in an outdoor sport such as motorcycle racing, and in Japan, the elements threw almost everything they had at MotoGP, the cold and the rain leaving standing water all around the track, throwing yet another spanner into the works.

The teams had seen almost every variation of wet conditions during practice, from soaking wet to a dry line forming, so they at least had an idea of what to expect. What they feared was that each rider, each team had their own Goldilocks zone, the precise amount of water on the track in which their bike worked best. For one rider, too little water meant they would eat up their tires, whereas for another, a track that was merely damp was just right. For one rider, too much water meant not being able to get enough heat into the tires to get them to work and provide grip. For another, a lot of water meant they could keep the temperature in their tires just right, and really harness the available traction.

One man seemed immune to this Goldilocks trap. Whatever the weather, however much water there was on the track, Marc Márquez was there or thereabouts. He was quick in the wet, he was quick in the merely damp. So confident was he at Motegi that he even gambled on slicks for his second run in qualifying, which meant he missed out on pole and had to start from third. But would it make any difference? Would anyone be able to stop Marc Márquez from taking another step towards the championship?

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2017 Motegi Moto2 & Moto3 Post-Race Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi:


CATERPILLAR
CHAMPIONSHIP: MOTOGP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
CLASS: MOTO3
TEAM: MARINELLI RIVACOLD SNIPERS TEAM
RIDERS: FENATI N. 5 - DANILO N. 95
BIKE: HONDA NSF250RW
DATE: 15 OCTOBER 2017
CIRCUIT: TWIN RING MOTEGI - JAPAN

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Dominique Aegerter Stripped Of Misano Win For Use Of Illegal Oil

Dominique Aegerter has been stripped of his victory in the Misano Moto2 race for use of illegal engine oil. The oil was sent for testing directly after the Misano race, and found to be in contravention of the rules, which mandate the use of oil from the official supplier to Moto2, LIQUI MOLY.

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2017 Motegi MotoGP WUP Result: Marquez Masters Mo-Soggy

Results:

Pos. No. Rider Bike Time Diff. / Prev.  
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'56.719    
2 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 1'57.125 0.406 / 0.406
3 42 Alex RINS Suzuki 1'57.215 0.496 / 0.090
4 99 Jorge LORENZO Ducati 1'57.303 0.584 / 0.088
5 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'57.435 0.716 / 0.132
6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'57.473 0.754 / 0.038
7 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'57.493 0.774 / 0.020
8 29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 1'57.554 0.835 / 0.061
9 31 Kohta NOZANE Yamaha 1'58.023 1.304 / 0.469
10 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'58.115 1.396 / 0.092
11 76 Loris BAZ Ducati 1'58.141 1.422 / 0.026
12 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'58.364 1.645 / 0.223
13 22 Sam LOWES Aprilia 1'58.382 1.663 / 0.018
14 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha 1'58.424 1.705 / 0.042
15 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'58.451 1.732 / 0.027
16 21 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA Yamaha 1'58.708 1.989 / 0.257
17 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati 1'58.723 2.004 / 0.015
18 53 Tito RABAT Honda 1'58.943 2.224 / 0.220
19 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'58.959 2.240 / 0.016
20 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda 1'58.999 2.280 / 0.040
21 38 Bradley SMITH KTM 1'59.515 2.796 / 0.516
22 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 2'00.200 3.481 / 0.685
23 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 2'00.356 3.637 / 0.156
24 45 Scott REDDING Ducati 2'01.902 5.183 / 1.546

 

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2017 Motegi Moto2 WUP Result: Syahrin Sails in the Wet

Results:

Pos. No. Rider Bike Time Prev. / Diff.  
1 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Kalex 2'06.905    
2 11 Sandro CORTESE Suter 2'07.042 0.137 / 0.137
3 44 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 2'07.129 0.224 / 0.087
4 42 Francesco BAGNAIA Kalex 2'07.404 0.499 / 0.275
5 73 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex 2'07.538 0.633 / 0.134
6 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Kalex 2'07.732 0.827 / 0.194
7 45 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex 2'07.811 0.906 / 0.079
8 10 Luca MARINI Kalex 2'07.844 0.939 / 0.033
9 7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 2'08.155 1.250 / 0.311
10 12 Thomas LUTHI Kalex 2'08.164 1.259 / 0.009
11 19 Xavier SIMEON Kalex 2'08.278 1.373 / 0.114
12 97 Xavi VIERGE Tech 3 2'08.336 1.431 / 0.058
13 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Kalex 2'08.768 1.863 / 0.432
14 77 Dominique AEGERTER Suter 2'09.041 2.136 / 0.273
15 41 Brad BINDER KTM 2'09.126 2.221 / 0.085
16 37 Augusto FERNANDEZ Speed Up 2'09.135 2.230 / 0.009
17 9 Jorge NAVARRO Kalex 2'09.286 2.381 / 0.151
18 5 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex 2'09.315 2.410 / 0.029
19 87 Remy GARDNER Tech 3 2'09.338 2.433 / 0.023
20 32 Isaac VIÑALES Kalex 2'09.715 2.810 / 0.377
21 24 Simone CORSI Speed Up 2'09.761 2.856 / 0.046
22 62 Stefano MANZI Kalex 2'09.767 2.862 / 0.006
23 34 Ryo MIZUNO Kalex 2'09.845 2.940 / 0.078
24 49 Axel PONS Kalex 2'09.902 2.997 / 0.057
25 23 Marcel SCHROTTER Suter 2'09.986 3.081 / 0.084
26 54 Mattia PASINI Kalex 2'10.051 3.146 / 0.065
27 6 Tarran MACKENZIE Suter 2'10.227 3.322 / 0.176
28 89 Khairul Idham PAWI Kalex 2'10.320 3.415 / 0.093
29 2 Jesko RAFFIN Kalex 2'10.964 4.059 / 0.644
30 33 Ikuhiro ENOKIDO Kalex 2'11.094 4.189 / 0.130
31 57 Edgar PONS Kalex 2'11.223 4.318 / 0.129
32 40 Fabio QUARTARARO Kalex 2'11.473 4.568 / 0.250
33 27 Iker LECUONA Kalex 2'12.869 5.964 / 1.396
 

 

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2017 Motegi Moto3 WUP Result: Fenati Finito First

Results: 

Pos. No. Rider Bike Time Prev. / Diff.
1 5 Romano FENATI Honda 2'12.513    
2 65 Philipp OETTL KTM 2'12.616 0.103 / 0.103
3 7 Adam NORRODIN Honda 2'13.769 1.256 / 1.153
4 84 Jakub KORNFEIL Peugeot 2'13.944 1.431 / 0.175
5 42 Marcos RAMIREZ KTM 2'14.041 1.528 / 0.097
6 16 Andrea MIGNO KTM 2'14.277 1.764 / 0.236
7 17 John MCPHEE Honda 2'14.290 1.777 / 0.013
8 24 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 2'14.305 1.792 / 0.015
9 88 Jorge MARTIN Honda 2'14.346 1.833 / 0.041
10 12 Marco BEZZECCHI Mahindra 2'14.383 1.870 / 0.037
11 23 Niccolò ANTONELLI KTM 2'14.398 1.885 / 0.015
12 33 Enea BASTIANINI Honda 2'14.439 1.926 / 0.041
13 21 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Honda 2'14.490 1.977 / 0.051
14 44 Aron CANET Honda 2'14.536 2.023 / 0.046
15 95 Jules DANILO Honda 2'14.557 2.044 / 0.021
16 19 Gabriel RODRIGO KTM 2'14.694 2.181 / 0.137
17 36 Joan MIR Honda 2'14.786 2.273 / 0.092
18 96 Manuel PAGLIANI Mahindra 2'14.935 2.422 / 0.149
19 64 Bo BENDSNEYDER KTM 2'15.071 2.558 / 0.136
20 71 Ayumu SASAKI Honda 2'15.287 2.774 / 0.216
21 58 Juanfran GUEVARA KTM 2'15.311 2.798 / 0.024
22 11 Livio LOI Honda 2'15.421 2.908 / 0.110
23 40 Darryn BINDER KTM 2'15.654 3.141 / 0.233
24 41 Nakarin ATIRATPHUVAPAT Honda 2'15.821 3.308 / 0.167
25 48 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Mahindra 2'15.921 3.408 / 0.100
26 4 Patrik PULKKINEN Peugeot 2'16.076 3.563 / 0.155
27 14 Tony ARBOLINO Honda 2'16.653 4.140 / 0.577
28 27 Kaito TOBA Honda 2'19.894 7.381 / 3.241
29 70 Tom TOPARIS KTM 2'21.362 8.849 / 1.468
  8 Nicolo BULEGA KTM      

 

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2017 Motegi Saturday Round Up: When Gambling Doesn't Pay

If anyone needed an argument that MotoGP's current system of qualifying is arguably the best available, Saturday at Motegi was proof positive. There are plenty of arguments that can be made against it: there are fairer systems imaginable, and there are simpler systems imaginable, but in the end, the element of chance the current system injects opens up opportunities for riders to seize. And it can either reward or punish those willing to gamble.

The weather at Motegi provided ample evidence of the spoils on offer, and the risks involved. A wet morning practice, a damp FP4, and a track which was starting to lose water from the surface. As Q1 progressed, the faintest hint of a dry line started to appear. Still too wet for slicks, but perhaps the ten minutes between Q1 and Q2 would be just long enough for the dry line to consolidate itself. Would anyone be brave enough to go out on slicks?

Valentino Rossi would be, and so would Marc Márquez. They both went out to test the waters, or lack of it, on slicks, hoping a high-stakes gamble would pay off. Rossi tried it early, Márquez tried it late, but both met with the same result. Yet one of the two will start from the front row, while the other finished dead last in Q2, and will start from twelfth. Timing proved to be everything, and the time was never really quite right. Only once Moto2 got underway did the track start to dry out sufficiently for slicks to be a viable option.

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