Somkiat Chantra won the Japanese Grand Prix from local rider and teammate Ai Ogura. Pedro Acosta extended his championship lead by finishing in third place. His closest championship rival, Tony Arbolino, finished down the order in eleventh place.
Alonso Lopez had a double long lap penalty to serve during the race due to irresponsible riding in the Indian GP.
Chantra had a good start from pole position as did Jake Dixon, but it was the Thai rider who was leading into the first corner. Aron Canet sent Acosta out wide through turn one and further down the field Fermin Aldeguer ran wide. The Beta Tools SpeedUp rider had to sit up and went through part of the long lap loop.
🚦 LIGHTS OUT IN #Moto2! 🚦
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) October 1, 2023
Even with the knowledge of the long lap penalties, Lopez improved from sixth place to the final step of the podium through the first set of corners. Sam Lowes also had a successful first lap improving to fifth.
Lopez and Ogura got past Dixon and continued to catch up to Chantra who started to break away from the rest of the field. Acosta also started to make placed up following his poor start.
On lap three, Ogura passed Lopez for second place, but the Spanish rider still had both of his long lap penalties to take so would not be staying in the top three for much longer. Chantra continued to extend his lead out at the front to 1.6s.
Acosta got past Dixon on the following lap at turn two after looking for a way past the Brit for over half a lap.
Lopez took his long lap loops on laps five and six and those dropped him down the order and he would need to make multiple moves to finish the race on the podium.
Filip Salac ran wide on the seventh lap, and this allowed Lowes to get past him, but the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team crashed at turn 14 on the same lap. Joe Roberts also went wide on lap seven but kept himself on the bike.
Aldeguer ran wide on lap nine and one of the local riders, Kohta Nozane, crashed on the same lap at turn ten. On the following lap, Sergio Garcia crashed at turn three.
Ogura slowly started cutting into the lead that his teammate had made in the first laps but was unable to catch up to the Thai rider who crossed the line to take his first win of the season. Acosta rounded out the podium and extended his championship lead to 50 points with six rounds to go.
Back-to-back home podiums for @AiOgura79! 👏
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) October 1, 2023
Dixon finished in fourth place ahead of Salac and Manuel Gonzalez. Marcos Ramirez crossed the line in seventh place, followed by Canet and Zonta van der Goorbergh. Darryn Binder rounded out the top ten.
Acosta’s closest championship rival Arbolino began dropping down the order towards the end of the race due to losing grip in his front tyre meaning he could only cross the line in eleventh place.
Feature Image Credit: Autosport
|JAPANESE MOTO2 GRAND PRIX, MOTEGI – RACE RESULTS|
|1||Somkiat Chantra||THA||IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia||(Kalex)||35m 19.273s|
|2||Ai Ogura||JPN||IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia||(Kalex)||35m 20.626s|
|3||Pedro Acosta||SPA||Red Bull KTM Ajo||(Kalex)||35m 22.353s|
|4||Jake Dixon||GBR||Inde GASGAS Aspar Team||(Kalex)||35m 24.338s|
|5||Filip Salac||CZE||QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2||(Kalex)||35m 29.765s|
|6||Manuel Gonzalez||SPA||Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46||(Kalex)||35m 32.234s|
|7||Marcos Ramirez||SPA||OnlyFans American Racing||(Kalex)||35m 33.625s|
|8||Aron Canet||SPA||Pons Wegow Los40||(Kalex)||35m 35.633s|
|9||Zonta Vd Goorbergh||NED||Fieten Olie Racing GP||(Kalex)||35m 36.965s|
|10||Darryn Binder||RSA||Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP||(Kalex)||35m 38.678s|
|11||Tony Arbolino||ITA||Elf Marc VDS Racing Team||(Kalex)||35m 39.934s|
|12||Joe Roberts||USA||Italtrans Racing Team||(Kalex)||35m 40.082s|
|13||Alonso Lopez||SPA||Beta Tools SpeedUp||(Boscoscuro)||35m 40.576s|
|14||Izan Guevara||SPA||Inde GASGAS Aspar Team||(Kalex)||35m 40.750s|
|15||Barry Baltus||BEL||Fieten Olie Racing GP||(Kalex)||35m 43.305s|
|16||Jeremy Alcoba||SPA||QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2||(Kalex)||35m 44.896s|
|17||Bo Bendsneyder||NED||Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team||(Kalex)||35m 46.076s|
|18||Albert Arenas||SPA||Red Bull KTM Ajo||(Kalex)||35m 46.644s|
|19||Taiga Hada||JPN||Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team||(Kalex)||35m 48.685s|
|20||Alberto Surra||ITA||Forward Team||(Forward)||35m 53.098s|
|21||Senna Agius||AUS||Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP||(Kalex)||35m 53.376s|
|22||Fermín Aldeguer||SPA||Beta Tools SpeedUp||(Boscoscuro)||35m 53.564s|
|23||Sean Dylan Kelly||USA||Forward Team||(Forward)||35m 55.746s|
|24||Borja Gomez||SPA||Fantic Racing||(Kalex)||35m 58.908s|
|25||Rory Skinner||GBR||OnlyFans American Racing||(Kalex)||36m 2.342s|
|26||Mattia Casadei||ITA||Fantic Racing||(Kalex)||36m 4.781s|
|Sergio Garcia||SPA||Pons Wegow Los40||(Kalex)||DNF|
|Dennis Foggia||ITA||Italtrans Racing Team||(Kalex)||DNF|
|Kohta Nozane||JPN||Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46||(Kalex)||DNF|
|Sam Lowes||GBR||Elf Marc VDS Racing Team||(Kalex)||DNF|