Romano Fenati, second in the Moto3 world championship, kept his title hopes alive with a dominant ride in a heavy downpour Sunday at the Motegi Circuit in Japan. Niccolo Antonelli secured his first podium in the past 33 races with a steady second place. And Marco Bezzecchi, with his best finish of his career, completed the all-Italian podium.
And where was championship leader Joan Mir who began the weekend 80 points clear of Fenati? Well down the timesheet in 17th and out of the points. The Spanish rider struggled in his wet weekend in Japan and watched his lead shaved to 55 points with three races remaining.
Taking fourth, Tatsuki Suzuki had his best finish of his career, a full four seconds clear of Aron Canet (5th). Phillipp Oettl grabbed sixth, leading a tightly bunched group including Fabio Giannantonio (7th), Jacob Kornfiel (8th) and Bo Bendsneyder (9th). John McPhee completed the top ten.
The 13-lap, shortened race began in a steady rain that worsened throughout the contest. Both the warmup and the race were reduced in length after Andrea Migno's KTM left a stream of oil nearly the length of the 4.8 km (2.9 mi.) circuit at the start of warmup. The subsequent cleanup took more than one hour and forced organizers to tighten the afternoon schedule.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time / Diff.|
|7||21||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Honda||15.482|
|58||Juanfran GUEVARA||KTM||2 Laps|
|19||Gabriel RODRIGO||KTM||4 Laps|
|71||Ayumu SASAKI||Honda||4 Laps|
|7||Adam NORRODIN||Honda||7 Laps|
|96||Manuel PAGLIANI||Mahindra||12 Laps|
|48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Mahindra||0 Lap|