Marc Marquez dominates at Motegi for tenth win of 2019

Marc Marquez turned his first Motegi pole into his tenth win of 2019, heading Petronas SRT’s Fabio Quartararo at the end of the 25-lap encounter, for his 10th win of his title-winning campaign.

Marquez got a perfect launch to maintain his pole advantage into Turn 1 ahead of Quartararo and a similarly fast-starting Jack Miller.

Quartararo - keen to finally take his first premier class victory - dived past Marquez into Turn 7, but not to be denied the Honda was back through with a late move into the Turn 9 hairpin.

Marquez then was able to build an advantage of around 1.2 seconds over the next lap, before the chasing Frenchman began to slowly reel him back in.

The gap between the leading pair yo-yoed by a just a few tenths over the following 10 laps, before Marquez pulled the pin just after half-distance and doubled his advantage to well over two seconds over the subsequent tours.

The newly-crowned six-time MotoGP champion then controlled his lead across the remaining laps to take the chequered flag just under two seconds ahead of Quartararo, who held off a charging Andrea Dovizioso for his fourth runner-up result of the season.

The battle for third looked to be going the way of Maverick Vinales over the closing laps, with the Yamaha man pressuring Dovizioso hard while the pair closed on Quartararo.

The Italian was stoic in defence though, and ultimately secured third ahead of the factory M1 rider.  

Franco Morbidelli was pipped to fifth by Cal Crutchlow on the run to the line after looking good for his maiden podium finish early on, having passed the struggling Miller for the position.

The Italian was unable to sustain the pace of Dovizioso and Vinales though and dropped back after being overthrown from third towards the chasing LCR Honda and Alex Rins’ Suzuki.

Crutchlow then got a brilliant exit from the final corner on the last lap to draft past the Yamaha shortly before the line, demoting Morbidelli to sixth just ahead of Rins.

Joan Mir was eighth on the second GSX-RR, while Danilo Petrucci got the best of the fading Miller for ninth in the last couple of laps.

Valentino Rossi suffered a horror race meanwhile, crashing out from a distant 11th with just five laps remaining, while the only other non-finisher was Esteve Rabat, who decided to not even start the race after he was handed a pit-lane start penalty for exceeding his engine allocation.

Japan - Race Result

Pos Rider Team Gap Points
1   Marc MarquezRepsol Honda Team25
2   Fabio QuartararoPetronas Yamaha SRT0.87020
3   Andrea DoviziosoMission Winnow Ducati1.32516
4   Maverick VinalesMonster Energy Yamaha2.60813
5   Cal CrutchlowLCR Honda9.14011
6   Franco MorbidelliPetronas Yamaha SRT9.18710
7   Alex RinsTeam Suzuki Ecstar9.3069
8   Joan MirTeam Suzuki Ecstar10.6958
9   Danilo PetrucciMission Winnow Ducati14.2167
10   Jack MillerAlma Pramac Racing18.9096
11   Pol EspargaroRed Bull KTM Factory25.5545
12   Miguel OlivieraRed Bull KTM Tech 327.8704
13   Francesco BagnaiaAlma Pramac Racing29.9933
14   Mika KallioRed Bull KTM Factory31.2322
15   Aleix EspargaroAprilia Racing Gresini32.5461
16   Takaaki NakagamiLCR Honda37.4820
17   Jorge LorenzoRepsol Honda Team40.4100
18   Karel AbrahamReale Avintia Racing43.4580
19   Hafizh SyahrinRed Bull KTM Tech 346.2060
20   Sylvain GuintoliTeam Suzuki Ecstar50.2350
21   Valentino RossiMonster Energy YamahaDNF0
22   Andrea IannoneAprilia Racing GresiniDNF0