The MotoGP title race stepped up a gear at the Japanese Grand Prix, as Marc Márquez and Andrea Dovizioso battled for victory on the final laps at Motegi.
Although either of the pair could have emerged victorious from the last lap, it was Ducati rider Dovizioso who crossed the line first, closing the gap to Márquez in the overall standings to 11 points with three rounds remaining.
The Japanese GP was contested with intermediate tyres, after Michelin withdrew the soft wet tyre option in the morning.
The Pull&Bear Aspar team leave Japan without having added points to their tally for the season, after both Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham crashed during the race.
Bautista, who had started from sixteenth on the grid, fell just three laps from the end, and was unable to complete a race for the first time since the Czech GP.
Both he and teammate Abraham are eager to turn their fortunes around at the Australian GP, which takes place next weekend at Phillip Island.
Álvaro Bautista (DNF):
“I don’t know what caused my crash. I entered the corner off the gas, without braking, and I lost the rear. We were having a good weekend and we had found a good feeling in the wet which was getting better, but this morning we were told that we couldn’t use the soft front tyre. In the warmup my good feeling disappeared. We didn’t have time to react with the medium front, as we couldn’t work on anything. Everything we had done before was spoiled. I’m unhappy with the situation; it is not fair that this be changed at a crucial moment. We could have been fighting for the top ten, now that we are getting better in the wet.”
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