Miller wins the Japanese GP and Quartararo consolidates his lead in the World Championship

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Australian Jack Miller won Sunday’s MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at the Motegi circuit, in a race in which Frenchman Fabio Quartararo, world leader, took advantage of the fall of his Italian rival Francesco Bagnaia to extend his lead.

The Ducati team rider, who started from seventh on the grid, celebrated his fourth victory in a MotoGP Grand Prix this Sunday ahead of South African Brad Binder (KTM) and Spaniard Jorge Martín (Ducati-Pramac).

“It went better than I thought, I felt strong all weekend,” said Miller after his first win of the season.

Despite Fabio Quartararo crossing the finish line in eighth place, Motegi’s lead comes out strengthened.

After 16 races out of 20, Quartararo (Yamaha) continues to lead the MotoGP World Championship with 219 points, 18 more than Bagnaia (201 points) and 25 more than Spaniard Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia), who was 16th this Sunday .

The Frenchman started from ninth place behind Espargaró (6th) and in front of Bagnaia (12th). The Spaniard buried his chances of storming the championship during the warm-up lap as his Aprilia was poorly set up and he had to pit at the start to change bikes, putting him in last place.

For his part, Bagnaia managed to position himself a position behind Quartararo and attempted an aggressive overtake on the final lap that ended in the Italian’s crash.

“Maybe I was too ambitious on the last lap,” Bagnaia complained at the end of the Grand Prix. “My intention was to pass Fabio and later try to pass him (on the Spanish Maverick Viñales).

– Marquez finishes fourth –

Enea Bastianini, fourth in the championship and still a challenger, benefited from Bagnaia’s crash to finish ninth, just behind Quartararo. The Italian, who started 15th, is 24 points behind championship third Espargaró.

Six-time MotoGP World Champion, Spaniard Marc Márquez, started from pole position in sunshine that was a far cry from Saturday’s heavy rains, but finished in fourth place after taking the lead in the opening laps had lost the race.

The Honda rider returned to competition last weekend after a three-month absence due to surgery on his right arm (fourth in two years) and secured his first pole position since 2019 at Motegi on Saturday.

After being pessimistic on Saturday, indicating that “he would like to fight for the top five but this is not the time”, that fourth place has even more value as it is the first Grand Prix to finish since his return after retiring in Aragón last Sunday.

In Moto2, Japan’s Ai Ougura (Honda) took his third win of the season and is now just two points behind Spanish leader Augusto Fernández, who was second on Sunday.

In Moto3, Spanish Championship leader Izan Guevara (GasGas) won by almost half a second over Italian Dennis Foggia (Leopard). Thanks to this second consecutive victory after the Aragon Grand Prix, Guevara moves away in the standings from his team-mate Sergio García, who finished fourth in Japan on Sunday.

The next Grand Prix will take place in Thailand next weekend.


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