2012 Moto2 Japanese Grand Prix
A spectacular battle until the checkered flag made the last Moto2 race one of the most exciting of the season, setting the scene for the upcoming AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan in Motegi that promises a continuation of the fierce on-track battles.
Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez heads into the fist race of the triple-header with a 48-point margin at the top of the Moto2TM standings and will remain the man to beat. Yet if Pons 40 HP Tuenti’s Pol Espargaró’s winning performance is anything to go by in Aragón, Márquez will certainly not be cruising to the title, with his rival unwilling to give an inch as long as the title is still mathematically attainable.
Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone, who lies third in the table, will be hurting from missing out on the podium in Aragón last time out, after being overtaken by Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding on the last lap. Iannone won the Motegi race last year after a race-long battle with Márquez, and will undoubtedly be looking to do the same this year.
Redding will however be one to watch as he chases his fifth podium of the season, and looks to claw back points on Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi in fourth, who was on the podium in Japan last year.
Tech 3 Racing’s Bradley Smith produced one of his best races of the season last time out, and will be hoping that the Mistral 610 can give him the same kind of performance in Japan to hold off the likes of JiR Moto2’s Johann Zarco, who is looking on good form at present. Add to this Came IodaRacing Project’s Simone Corsi, who put his FTR on pole in Aragón, and the battle promises to be yet another good one.
There will be a big change to the Moto2 grid when it heads out on track in Motegi, as 2010 champion Toni Elías has been announced as the new Italtrans Racing Team rider, after the outfit split with Claudio Corti last week. Elias will see out the rest of the season with the team, but has not confirmed a ride for 2013.
Moto2 Championship Point Standings:
1. Marc Márquez, SPA, Suter: 258
2. Pol Espargaró, SPA, Kalex: 210
3. Andrea Iannone, ITA, Speed Up: 178
4. Thomas Luthi, SWI, Suter: 166
5. Scott Redding, GBR, Kalex: 131