2017 Motegi Moto2 WUP Result: Syahrin Sails in the Wet


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


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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2017 Motegi MotoGP FP4 Result: No Rival For Marquez

The dry patches that created uncertainty for the lightweight class vanished by the time the MotoGP riders found their way back onto the track for their final practice session. Constant drizzle soaked the track for big part of the session to create consistent conditions to do some race pace work. The track did start to dry once again but plentiful of spray was still getting kicked up.

Marc Marquez planted his flag at the top of the pile on his first laps by over half a second and then decided to push a little more on his second run, this time on a medium front. The world champion built up on that advantage to increase the gap to one and a half seconds and post the fastest time of the weekend.

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2017 Motegi Moto2 FP3 Result: Syahrin Reigns In The Rain

The intermediate class cannot catch a break – when the rain falls, it turns extra heavy when Moto2 riders hit the track. In rather cold and treacherous conditions, times were quite a way off from Friday pace and there was little hope to find major improvements throughout the session.

While Tom Luthi claimed top position in the early part of FP3, title rival Franco Morbidelli had a tip off in turn twelve in the first handful of laps. With the title contenders into the pits, the lead of the session was claimed by Hafizh Syahrin, The Fish living up to his nickname once more to put nearly four tenths into the pursuers. The time stuck until the flag dropped and the Malaysian rider claimed the third practice session.

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2017 Motegi MotoGP FP3 Result: Marquez Leads As Viñales Loses Out

Saturday morning was still wet as it welcomed the premier class riders but at least it didn’t soak them to the core this time around.

The final ten minutes saw the extra soft rear tyre finally getting some airtime but Marquez and Lorenzo were still disputing the lead of the session on the “traditional” soft. The duo were amongst the few not to try on the extra soft but that didn’t make much of a difference, Marquez continuing to improve his time at the top and getting within three tenths of his Friday time to lead FP3.

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2017 Motegi Moto3 FP3 Result: Pagliani Clears The Puddles

Another day in Japan, another round of rain hit the track as the action unfolded. A bit less spray was getting kicked up by the lightweight machines but a touch of drizzle ensured that the track conditions were constant and more useful to the teams.

Niccolo Antonelli had a typical morning, the Italian crashing out in turn four after the first fifteen minutes of the session just as he placed himself on top of the pile. While his leathers got a bit of a rinse and the bike got a service, compatriot Manuel Pagliani picked up the pace and went on to steal top spot. The Mahindra rider was clearly happy with the grip available, posting increasingly fast laps as if he was on rails, putting half a second’s gap into his pursuers – and as soon as someone got close, the Italian would just improve further to become the only rider to drop into the 2:09s.

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2017 Motegi Friday Round Up: Slow Yamahas, Fast Ducatis, And Blame For Crashes

The rain in Japan is separating the sheep from the goats. There are bikes that work well in the rain, and they are up at the front, and there are bikes which don't, and they are struggling. Including, well, the GOAT, to extend a metaphor.

The 2017 Yamaha M1 simply does not work well in the wet. "Sincerely we tried to do a lot of things with the bike but we are in trouble," Valentino Rossi said after finishing the day in twelfth, over a second and a half slower than the fastest man Andrea Dovizioso. "We don't understand why. Because last year I was very competitive in the wet. I had a good feeling with the old bike. But this year we are struggling. Something strange."

The problem is mainly wheelspin and rear traction. "We’ve been struggling all the time with rear grip," Maverick Viñales said, agreeing with his Movistar Yamaha teammate. "We change a lot the bike during all the practices but finally the same problem remains. It’s been very difficult for us during all of this year trying to be fast and competitive."

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2017 Motegi Moto2 FP2 Result: Luthi Shows The Way

A bit more rain was on the menu for the intermediate class, causing the same familiar names to feature heavily in the second practice session. After leading FP1, Alex Marquez picked it up at the top but he was quickly pushed back by Tom Luthi, the Swiss rider putting half a second between the two of them. The Spaniard cut the gap to less than two tenths before Luthi blasted his own best time to outpace Marquez by over seven tenths of a second. The rollercoaster continued with the Marc VDS rider once again getting within two tenths.

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2017 Motegi MotoGP FP2 Result: Dovizioso Strikes Back

Still wet, still cold and slightly less dreadful as the heavy rain had stopped, the second practice session for the premier class brought a new set of conditions to master.

Andrea Dovizioso was the quickest to assess the situation, the Italian heading to the top of the timesheets on his third lap, only four tenths slower than the morning’s benchmark. The Ducati man improved further after another handful of laps and broke into the 1:54s to set the fastest time of the weekend.

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2017 Motegi Moto3 FP2 Result: Fenati Masters Slippery Surface

After the relative deluge of FP1, the weather gods looked upon the second practice session more kindly, easing the rain and only marginally warming it up. A touch more visibility and fewer drops of rain gave a tad too much confidence to the lightweight class though, who opened proceedings for the afternoon with plenty of slips and slides all over the place.

In the changing conditions and with the added rubber post-FP1, riders found it hard to get anywhere near their morning benchmarks. Things looked settled until the rain master struck and Fenati retook the lead as the checker flag waved. Antonelli got close to reclaiming the honour but missed out by six thousandths of a second. Bulega finished third, nearly two tenths down, while Aron Canet eventually managed to reduce the gap to Fenati to only three tenths.

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2017 Motegi Moto2 FP1 Result: Another Session, Another Marquez

The rain that invaded the rest of the FP1 sessions seemed determined to cause even more trouble for the intermediate class, the puddles growing and the slides worsening. While that was apparent on the broadcast, no one sent the memo to Hafizh Syahrin, the Malaysian rider stealing the spotlight for the first half of the session. 

Tom Luthi spent most of the session as the final man within a second of the leader but he ditched that status in the final five minutes to move to the top of the timesheets and demote Syahrin. The Swiss rider’s stint at the top was only brief, Alex Marquez promptly putting nearly half a second between himself and the field.

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