After two days of mixed conditions the Grand Prix of Japan – the first of three rounds of MotoGP in three weeks – took place in a dry and warmer climate at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit; a course distinctive for its hard-braking zones and emphasis on acceleration.
The sixteenth MotoGP sprint of the year took place over twenty-four laps of the facility and Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro was again the brand’s top runner. The Spaniard set-off from 15th position and battled with his brother, Aleix, in the opening phases before establishing himself in the second group where he finished a lonely 11th. Espargaro registered his fourteenth set of world championship points in 2019 and for the second time in a row after recovering from left wrist surgery.
“Not a great weekend but starting from 15th position and to finish 11th – almost in the top ten and four seconds from Jack [Miller] – is not too bad. We started well but then dropped back and it was hard to keep the pace. Not what we wanted but we’ll look to Phillip Island which is one of my favourite tracks and one of the best in the world. We were in the top ten all weekend there last year so let’s see if we can do the same and enjoy the race because the last few have been tough.”
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