2019 Moto3 Japanese Grand Prix Preview

After a short break it is back to racing for the Moto3 class as it enters a busy time for the sport with three races over the next three weekends.

Title fight

Due to being taken out during the previous race in Thailand Aron Canet finds himself twenty two points behind title rival Lorenzo Dalla Porta, with Dalla Porta finishing second in the race.

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Despite this there are enough races and points available for Canet to close the gap to Dalla Porta with a maximum of one hundred points still available. It is also possible for Dalla Porta to have a poor race while Canet excels, such as what happened in Aragon this season.

Behind the top two

With Canet failing to score points, he is now closer to third placed Tony Arbolino than he is to Dalla Porta after Arbolino finished tenth in Thailand, despite suffering issues during the race which stopped him from achieving a better result.

Twenty five points behind Arbolino is Dalla Porta’s teammate, Marcos Ramirez. The Spaniard goes into the weekend off another strong race result having finished fourth in Thailand and means he has finished inside the top ten in four of the last five races.

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Ramirez’s fourth place finish in Thailand has meant he has jumped ahead of John McPhee in the standings after McPhee was taken out in the same incident that Canet was involved in. It also brings to an end McPhee’s four race scoring streak which had included three top five finishes, including two podium finishes.

Going to Japan on a high

There are several drivers who will head into this weekend off the back of achieving their best result of the 2019 season.

The first of these is Albert Arenas who claimed his first victory of 2019, surpassing his previous best result of fifth which he achieved at the Spanish Grand Prix in May. He could continue to have a strong finish to the season as he has finished inside the top ten in the previous two races.

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The second rider going to Japan having achieved their best result of 2019 is Alonso Lopez who finished third in Thailand, his previous best result being fourth which he achieved at the Catalan Grand Prix. Lopez, like Arenas, could have a strong end to the season having finished inside the top five in the two races prior to this weekend.

Further down the championship standings, but to have achieved their best results of 2019 are Italians Stefano Nepa and Riccardo Rossi.

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Nepa had an impressive race in Thailand, eventually finishing eighth, which was also his second points finish of the season, his other points finish being eleventh place at Misano.

The same goes for Riccardo Rossi who also scored points in Misano, a fourteenth place, but bettered this in Thailand by finishing thirteenth.

Home heroes

Five Japanese riders head into their home Grand Prix having contested the full Moto3 season.

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The highest placed of these is Ai Ogura in tenth who goes into the weekend having retired from two of the last three races. He is only one point ahead of countryman Tatsuki Suzuki who also goes to Japan off the back of a retirement.

However the two have also achieved podium finishes in the last three races, with Suzuki having won in Misano and Ogura finishing second in Aragon. To add to this Ogura has finished inside the points in four of the last six races while Suzuki has finished in the points in three of the last six races.

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The next best Japanese rider is Kaito Toba who goes into the weekend having finally managed to end his streak of zero points scoring finishes which had lasted for eight races (which doesn’t include not starting the race in Aragon).

Ten points behind Toba in the standings is countryman Ayumu Sasaki who like Ogura and Suzuki has retired from two of the last three races. Despite these two retirements he has finished in the points in four of the last six races, which includes a sixth place finish at Silverstone.

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The final Japanese rider to mention is Kazuki Masaki who goes to his home race having failed to finish inside the points in the last seven races. His last points finishing coming at the Dutch TT where he finished thirteenth.

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