Second victory in a row for Luca Marini in Japanese nail-biter
After scoring his first pole in the Moto2™ category on Saturday, Sky Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini followed on from his win in Thailand and took another victory in Japan after a nail-biting finish to the 22-lap race.
From the start, he made best use of his 765cc Triumph triple power and earned himself a small gap at the front, followed by early-season race winner Lorenzo Baldassarri of Flexbox HP40. Meanwhile Dynavolt Intact GP’s Thomas Luthi was on a charge, climbing from his start position of 7th whilst championship leader Alex Marquez was embroiled in a battle for 6th on his EG 0,0 Marc VDS machine.
By the halfway point a charging Luthi had caught and passed Marini and himself built a small lead, whilst the pack in which Marquez found himself after a couple of ragged moments, switched positions from fourth to tenth.
In the closing laps, the battles intensified, and with just three laps to go the fight raged for the lead between Luthi and a resurgent Marini, and for third position as Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jorge Martin caught Baldassarri.
With almost perfect synchronicity, with just two laps remaining, Marini made his move on Luthi for the win whilst Martin passed Baldassarri for the final step of the podium, and his first podium using Triumph power. Luthi now moves into second in the championship, and with Marquez finishing sixth, closes Alex’s advantage to 36 points. Just 14 points then separates second to fifth, with 75 still to play for.
Steve Sargent, Triumph’s Chief Product Officer, said: “Motegi often yields some great racing and that was no exception with the battles for all three podium places being decided by just tenths of a second. Congratulations to Luca Marini for back to back victories using Triumph power. It’s been a tricky weekend for the riders and teams with a very rain-interrupted day of qualifying on Saturday, as can happen in this region of Japan, but still the total race time was the fastest it’s been for Moto2 over the full 22-lap distance, so it shows even with limited dry running we can be very happy with the performance of our 765cc Triumph triple.”
The Triumph Moto2™ 765cc race engine is a development of the class-leading Street Triple RS 765cc road motorcycle and produces more than 140PS and the same visceral soundtrack.
Next up for the Moto2™ category is Australia next weekend, 25-27 October, as the second of the back-to-back triple of Japan, Australia and Malaysia.
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