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JAPAN12.02.2014

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Although he was forfeit for the Australian Grand Prix after breaking an ankle in Sepang, Stefan Bradl made a brilliant comeback at Motegi to win an epic fifth place ahead of Valentino Rossi.

MotoGP Japan

JAPANThe Races
After being forced to throw in the towel at Phillip Island, Stefan Bradl used the cancellation of the first test of the Japanese Grand Prix day to rest his ankle before giving his best in the qualifying session and the race. Seventh on the starting grid, the rider of the Honda LCR team fought it out with Alvaro Bautista before crossing the finishing line in fifth position. In Moto2, Redding bravely attempted to defend his chances one week after surgery for a broken wrist. But in continuing streak of bad luck at the end of the season, the British rider had another crash after Rabat fell under his wheels. Kallio stepped up to second place on the podium behind Pol Espargaro who took advantage of Redding’s misfortunes to win the world championship title. In Moto3, Oliveira took a well-earned fourth place, while Vazquez abandoned the race just after the start after being hit by another competitor.

The Championship
The race means no change for Stefan Bradl who keeps the seventh place overall in the MotoGP championship with only one race to go. In Moto2, Redding keeps second place overall. Although he is still in fourth place, Kallio has nevertheless reduced Rabat’s lead to nineteen points. For Oliveira and Vazquez, the Grand Prix of Japan did not change either of their rankings: the two Mahindra riders remain sixth and ninth in the championship.

The Background
The end of the season for the MotoGP championship is as chaotic as ever. The Australian event was hindered by tire problems, and the Grand Prix of Japan was plagued by bad weather. Never before have the MotoGP organizers been forced to cancel a day and a half of test sessions. “Safety comes first,” said Mike Webb, the race director. “The lack of visibility prevented the medical helicopter from flying and we could not take the risk of having an accident. That forced us to adopt an unusual format with only one test session to form the starting grids and an extended warm-up for the teams to adjust the bikes before the races.” An odd set-up but one that everyone understood was necessary. “There are events that you just have to accept,” admitted Christophe Bourguignon, the technical director of Honda LCR team. “We made sure the settings were acceptable during the warm-up so that Stefan could start in the best possible conditions.”

12.02.2014

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