2015 Motegi Moto3 Results

Niccolo Antonelli at Motegi Moto3
Niccolo Antonelli at Motegi Moto3

Leopard Racing Honda’s Danny Kent had a chance Sunday to clinch the 2015 Moto3 title at Twin Ring Motegi, but his efforst were cut short. Due to a bad start at Motegi Moto3, he was forced to finish sixth. This means the Moto3 title race continues next weekend at Phillip Island in Australia.

Kent wasn’t the only one forced to put in some extra effort; round 15 of 2015 Moto3 was anything but pleasing for the entire Moto3 grid; the weekend started off with nearly perfect conditions, but rain came come race day. The challenges were huge, but this didn’t stop Ongetta-Rivacold’s Niccolo Antonelli.

The Italian put in a masterful display of riding in the wet, eventually taking the win at the Japanese Grand Prix by 1.053 seconds ahead of Red Bull KTM’s Miguel Oliveira and 8.529 seconds ahead of Estella Galicia 0,0 Honda’s Jorge Navarro.

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After a delayed start due to rain, the 2015 Motegi Moto3 race was reduced to 13 laps. Antonelli wasted now time, and immediately established a four-second lead out front. As for Kent, he fell back from sixth to 16th at the end of the first lap as his title rival, Gresini Racing Team Moto3 Honda’s Enea Bastianini, was running in sixth.

Kent regained his rhythm, and after four laps began picking off riders until he made it into seventh. Up front, Oliveira was catching Antonelli. Oliveira would get within a second of Antonelli, but not be able to challenge for the win.

Antonelli earned his second Moto3 win, followed by Oliveira and Navarro. RBA Racing’s Isaac Viñales (-11.074 seconds) crashed on the penultimate lap at turn 10 but incredibly remounted to finish in fourth ahead of Drive M7 SIC’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin (+13.043 seconds) who claimed his best result of the season in fifth.

Kent finished 15.224 seconds behind Antonelli to earn sixth, followed by Bastianini, Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo), John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG) and Efren Vazquez (Leopard Racing) completed the top ten.

There were crashes in the tricky conditions for Remy Gardner, Livio Loi, Hiroki Ono, Alexis Masbou, Alessandro Tonucci and wildcard Ryo Mizuno.

Fabio Quartararo (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was forced to pull out of the weekend after Friday’s practice due to the pain he was suffering from the broken ankle he sustained at Mugello.

As Moto3 heads directly to Phillip Island, riund 16 of 18, Kent holds a 56-point lead over Bastianini.