Moto3

Alex Marquez Wins Drama Filled Motegi Moto3 GP

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Alex Marquez of Spain emerged the winner in the final meters of the Moto3 GP of Japan at the Motegi circuit to give KTM its 20th consecutive victory.

But the penultimate round of the 2013 season saw more drama than any other race this season and shook up the championship standings not once but several times.

At the end of one of the most action packed races of the season, Spain‰Ûªs Maverick Vinales (KTM) was second and Jonas Folger of Germany was third on the Kalex-KTM.

While the younger Marquez brother celebrated his first Moto3 victory it had also been a heart stopping race for the three title contenders and KTM riders Luis Salom, Alex Rins and Maverick Vinales. Most of all, however for the Red Bull KTM Ajo factory team. First they saw Fahmi Khairuddin of Malaysia crash in the opening corner then the race had barely got underway when Isaac Vinales took out championship leader Salom.

Having started with a lead of just five points in the championship Salom then went into damage control. He scrambled back into the race at dead last and was setting fastest lap times from the back of the pack in a valiant attempt to get back in the points. Then in lap seven of the 20-lap race he pushed too hard, high-sided and ended in gravel.
Championship leader going into the round Luis Salom did not have the race he wanted, crashing twice and retiring from the race - Credit: Gold and Goose
Certain that this was gong to ruin his chance at the title, he returned to the pits to an equally dejected team while his arch rivals Rins, Vinales and Marquez battled it out at the front.

Then, three laps before the end of the race, Rins also high-sided and was out of the points, temporarily setting up Vinales as a potential points leader going into the final round in Valencia.

Vinales and a very ambitious Alex Marquez then fought they way to the finish, exchanging the lead back and forth in a battle that saw Marquez squeeze out the victory in the final meters.

The championship now goes to the final round in Valencia on a knife‰Ûªs edge with Salom still in the lead by two points from Vinales with Rins five points behind the leader.

Everything points to a great race for the sport, the Spanish fans and for KTM, who are in line to take their second World Championship title after Sandro Cortese of Red Bull KTM Ajo won the first ever Moto3 title in 2012.

Australia's Jack Miller, racing for the Caretta Technology RTG team finished in six place and is all but certain to finish the season out in 7th place in the championship standings. Fellow Australian Arthur Sissis finished in 16th position.
Moto3 podium - Credit: Gold and Goose
Moto3 Race Results Round 16 Japan:
1 Alex Marquez 39m45.953s ESP KTM Estrella Galicia 0'0
2 Maverick Vinales 0.027 ESP KTM Team Calvo
3 Jonas Folger 7.750 GER KTM Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3
4 Miguel Oliveira 15.889 PORTUGUESE MAHINDRA Mahindra Racing
5 Romano Fenati 18.323 ITA HONDA San Carlo Team Italia
6 Jack Miller 18.432 AUS HONDA Caretta Technology - RTG
7 John McPhee 18.439 SCO HONDA Caretta Technology - RTG
8 Niklas Ajo 25.608 FIN KTM Avant Tecno
9 Niccolo Antonelli 25.950 ITA HONDA Go & Fun Gresini Moto3
10 Brad Binder 32.933 ZAF HONDA Ambrogio Racing
11 Jakub Kornfeil 33.067 CZE KTM Redox RW Racing GP
12 Livio Loi 33.231 BEL KTM Marc VDS Racing Team
13 Philipp Oettl 33.668 GER KTM Paddock TT Motion Events
14 Alan Techer 39.006 FRA HONDA CIP Moto3
15 Hyuga Watanabe 39.259 JPN HONDA La Fonte Tascaracing
16 Arthur Sissis 42.159 AUS KTM Red Bull KTM Ajo
17 Lorenzo Baldassarri 42.670 ITA HONDA Go & Fun Gresini Moto3
18 Ana Carrasco 46.487 ESP KTM Team Calvo
19 Eric Grando 47.005 BRA KTM Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3
20 Francesco Bagnaia 47.394 ITA HONDA San Carlo Team Italia
21 Toni Finsterbusch 48.496 GER KTM Kiefer Racing
22 Juanfran Guevara 51.341 ESP HONDA CIP Moto3
24 Alex Rins 1'06.878 ESP KTM Estrella Galicia 0'0
25 Jasper Iwema 1'10.254 HOL KTM RW Racing GP
27 Alexis Masbou DNF FRA HONDA Ongetta-Rivacold
28 Matteo Ferrari DNF ITA HONDA Ongetta-Centro Seta
29 Luca Amato DNF GER MAHINDRA Mahindra Racing
30 Luis Salom DNF ESP KTM Red Bull KTM Ajo
32 Isaac Vi̱ales DNF ESP HONDA Bimbo-Ongetta-Centro Seta
33 Zulfahmi Khairuddin DNF SEPANG KTM Red Bull KTM Ajo
34 Efren Vazquez DNF ESP MAHINDRA Mahindra Racing
Luis Salom holds a slender 2 point lead over Maverick Vinales and five points over Alex Rins heading into the final Moto3 Gp of the year - Credit: Gold and Goose
Championship Standings after Round 16 of 17:
1 Luis Salom 300 pts
2 Maverick Vinales 298
3 Alex Rins 295 pts
4 Alex Marquez 200 pts
5 Jonas Folger 163 pts
6 Miguel Oliveira 144 pts
7 Jack Miller 110 pts
8 Alexis Masbou 84 pts
9 Efren Vazquez 71 pts
10 Romano Fenati 68 pts
11 Jakub Kornfeil 68 pts
12 Zulfahmi Khairuddin 65 pts
13 Niklas Ajo 62 pts
14 Brad Binder 62 pts
15 Arthur Sissis 59 pts
16 Niccolo Antonelli 47 pts
17 Isaac Vi̱ales 38 pts
18 Philipp Oettl 27 pts
19 John McPhee 24 pts
20 Danny Webb 15 pts

Top Image: Alex Marquez wins a thrilling Moto3 race in Japan by the smallest of margins from Maverick Vinales
Credit: Gold and Goose

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