Japanese MotoGP: Miller dominates as Bagnaia’s title bid takes a hit

    Quartararo extends his championship lead despite finishing eighth; Marc Marquez finishes fourth.

    Published On Sep 26, 2022 11:27:00 AM

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    The 2022 Japanese GP, which marked MotoGP’s return to the ‘Land Of The Rising Sun’ – for the first time in three years – saw factory Ducati rider Jack Miller take a dominant victory at the Motegi circuit. Factory KTM rider Brad Binder (and Miller’s future teammate) finished second, with Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin rounding out the podium.

    Marc Marquez, who started from pole after 1,071 days, ended the race fourth, putting up a brave fight despite his physical limitations. 

    • Francesco Bagnaia 18 points behind Fabio Quartararo
    • No points for Aleix Espargaro 
    • Suzuki’s final appearance on home soil marred by DNFs

    Polarising Japanese GP for Ducati

    Jack Miller took his first victory since Le Mans last year, Jorge Martin finished third and Luca Marini rode his Ducati Desmosedici GP21 past the chequered flag in sixth place. But where one side of the factory Ducati garage was celebrating a dominant victory, the other was embroiled in a crash that could have a lasting impact on the championship.

    Francesco Bagnaia entered this weekend just 10 points shy of championship leader Fabio Quartararo. But a crash on the last lap saw that deficit widen to a whole 18 points – something that could prove to be a deciding factor in the World Championship standings for the young Italian. 

    It was shaping up to be a promising weekend for Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco, who started the race from second on the grid. However, he crossed the finish line 11th, losing seven places on Lap 6 itself. 

    Suzuki’s dismal final home race

    Having to compete their home GP without 2020 world champion Joan Mir, Suzuki weren’t in the best position to begin their final race on home soil. Replacing Mir was long-standing Suzuki test rider Takuya Tsuda, but he was forced to retire after his bike caught fire.

    Making matters worse for Suzuki, the number 42 bike that Alex Rins was on developed an electrical gremlin. The team walked away from their final MotoGP race at home with no points scored.

    2022 MotoGP championship standings

    Despite crossing the finish line in a sombre eighth place, Quartararo has extended his championship lead over his rivals in the title race. Bagnaia’s crash leaves him 18 points behind Quartararo.

    Aleix Espargaro was also unable to score any points as his bike developed electrical issues, which forced him to pit at the end of the warm-up lap and switch to his backup bike. He could only manage finishing 16th; he trails Quartararo by 25 points and Bagnaia by seven points.

    2022 Japanese MotoGP results 

    2022 Japanese MotoGP results
    PositionRiderTeam
    1Jack MillerDucati Lenovo
    2Brad BinderRed Bull KTM
    3Jorge MartinPramac Ducati
    4Marc MarquezRepsol Honda
    5Miguel OlivieraRed Bull KTM
    6Luca MariniVR46 Ducati
    7Maverick VinalesAprilia Racing
    8Fabio QuartararoMonster Yamaha
    9Enea BastianiniGresini Ducati
    10Marco BezzechhiVR46 Ducati
    11Johann ZarcoPramac Ducati
    12Pol EspargaroRepsol Honda
    13Alex MarquezLCR Honda
    14Franco MorbidelliMonster Yamaha
    15Cal CrutchlowWithU Yamaha
    16Aleix EspargaroAprilia Racing
    17Fabio Di GiannantonioGresini Ducati
    18Raul FernandezTech3 KTM
    19Remy GardnerTech3 KTM
    20Takaaki NakagamiLCR Honda
    NCFrancesco BagnaiaDucati Lenovo
    NCAlex RinsSuzuki
    NCDarryn BinderWithU Yamaha
    NCTakuya TsudaSuzuki
    NCTestsuta NagashimaRepsol Honda

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