2019 Moto2 Japanese Grand Prix Preview

After the Thailand Grand Prix a couple of weeks ago, the Moto2 class are back in action this weekend as it heads to Motegi in Japan.

The top five

Despite having finished behind Augusto Fernandez in Thailand, Alex Marquez heads to Japan having managed to extend his championship lead to forty points from currently second placed Fernandez.

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Previous holder of second place, Jorge Navarro, endured a difficult race in Thailand and enters the Japan race weekend down in fifth.

However, the riders from second down to fifth are covered by nine points with Brad Binder and Thomas Luthi between the two Spaniards of Fernandez and Navarro.

Binder has finished on the podium in four of the last five races and followed up his Aragon win with a second place in Thailand.

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Two points behind Binder is Luthi who finished once again inside the top ten in Thailand, extending his top ten finish streak to five races, but he is only three points ahead of Navarro going into the weekend.

Elsewhere in the top ten

Twenty four points behind Navarro is Luca Marini who goes to Japan having claimed his first victory of the 2019 campaign having finished inside the top five in three of the last six races.

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Behind Marini are fellow Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri whose points scoring run has ended after finishing outside of the top fifteen in Thailand. He is twenty points ahead of eighth placed Marcel Schrotter who returned in Thailand after missing the last two races.

The final two spots inside the top ten are filled by two Moto2 rookies with Fabio Di Giannantonio in ninth and Enea Bastianini in tenth. Di Giannantonio’s seven race points scoring run, which included two second place finishes, has also come to an end after finishing just outside the points in Thailand. Bastianini meanwhile is eight points behind his fellow Italian going into the weekend.

Elsewhere

Like Marini, Iker Lecuona also goes to Japan off the back of his best result of the 2019 season after finishing third in Thailand. It has pulled him thirteen points clear of the four way fight directly behind him in the championship.

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Those in that four way fight include Tetsuta Nagashima who goes into his home race in mixed form having finished inside the points in three of the last six races, the other three races all being retirements. It means he is level on points with his teammate, Remy Gardner, going into the weekend.

Four points behind Nagashima and Gardner is Sam Lowes who has finished inside the top five in two of the last four races, but like Nagashima’s form, has retired from those other two races. It means he is still one point ahead of Xavi Vierge who himself goes into the weekend having retired from the previous Grand Prix, but Vierge has finished inside the top ten in three of the last four races.

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Lastly, a mention for a third rider who goes to Motegi having achieved his best result of the season in Thailand, that rider being Jorge Martin who finished sixth which also extended his points scoring run to seven races. It has also meant he has propelled himself into a battle with Andrea Locatelli and fellow Moto2 rookie, Nicolo Bulega, over sixteenth in the standings with seven points covering the three riders going into the weekend.

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