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MotoGP World Championship – Grand Prix of Japan22.10.2018

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Master Morbidelli

Eleventh in Japan, Morbidelli finished his fourth race in a row in the top 15. And has consolidated his position as leader in the rankings for the best rookie rider in the MotoGP category.

The Races

Despite serious tune-up problems during the practice test sessions, Franco Morbidelli managed to clamber back from the seventeenth position he occupied on the starting grid to eleventh place under the checkered flag in the Grand Prix of Japan. After a sever crash during the practice test sessions, the Italian managed to put things back on an even keel in the race. “On a circuit that was difficult for us, I managed to keep a good pace and get closer to the top ten,” he said. Overall the weekend was fairly satisfactory.” Lacking grip with the back wheel and feeling with his bike, Tom Lüthi finished in twentieth position. In Moto2, Alex Marquez was heroic, finishing fourth after having a really bad crash during the practice test sessions, miraculously escaping any injury. Joan Mir finished the Japanese event in eleventh position.

The Championship

Another place won for Morbidelli. The Italian is now 14th in the overall MotoGP rankings with 38 points. At the same time he has consolidated his first place in the ranking of the “Rookie of the Year”. In Moto2, Marquez and Mir remain fifth and sixth in the provisional championship with one hundred and thirty-nine and one hundred and twenty-nine points.

The Background

Everyone knew that Alex Marquez was hard to hurt, but no one imagined quite so much. In Motegi, the former Moto3 world champion had a really bad crash in the final minutes of the second Moto2 free practice session. “I made a mistake,” he admitted. “The track was not completely dry yet and I rode over a rumble strip at full speed. I had no need at that time to take such a risk.” Thrown several meters into the air, Marquez fell heavily on the shoulders and back. “I did not break anything, but I ended the weekend with pains everywhere. I really had to grit my teeth to start the race.” The Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS rider was rewarded for his efforts. Sixth on the starting grid, he crossed the finish line in fourth place, 12 seconds behind the winner, trapped between the two KTMs of Oliveira and Binder. “After my crash on Friday, I’m really happy with the result,” he said. “And I thank the team for helping me regain my confidence after my fall.”

22.10.2018

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