News & Multimedia

MotoGP Trendspotting: Grand Prix Of Japan

Jorge Lorenzo of Yamaha Factory Racing won the Grand Prix of Japan on Sunday, Oct. 27, the 17th of 18 events in the 2013 MotoGP World Championship that included the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 16-18 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

But it’s time to take a look beyond the results sheets for trends after this race.

Down To Wire: The race for the MotoGP World Championship will come down to a duel between leader Marc Marquez and reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo at the season-ending Grand Prix of Valencia on Nov. 10 after Lorenzo’s victory in the Grand Prix of Japan on Oct. 27.

Lorenzo sliced Marquez’s lead to 13 points with his victory on a Yamaha Factory Racing machine. Marquez finished second on a Repsol Honda.

Marquez, 20, must finish fourth or better to become the youngest premier-class World Champion in history and the first rookie to clinch the title since American legend Kenny Roberts in 1978.

That task shouldn’t provide too stern of a test for Marquez. He has finished in the top three in 15 of his 17 starts this season.

But Lorenzo enters the decisive title showdown in peak form. He has won the last two races from the pole, at Australia and Japan, as Yamaha appears to have swung the performance edge pendulum away from Japanese archrivals Honda.

Marquez and Lorenzo are the only riders to be eligible to win the championship at the finale. Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, finished third at the Japanese Grand Prix and was eliminated from contention, 38 points behind Marquez.

Rossi’s Mistakes Hurt Lorenzo: Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo had a relationship about as warm as dry ice during their first tenure as Yamaha Factory Racing teammates from 2008-10, with their garages separated by a wall during the last 18 months of that pairing.

But the two riders have enjoyed a peaceful, friendly working relationship during their second stint together, which started this season when Rossi rejoined the team after two fruitless seasons at Ducati.

Rossi could have put Lorenzo into a more realistic position to win the World Championship last Sunday at the Grand Prix of Japan, but “The Doctor” failed when Lorenzo and Yamaha needed him the most.

Seven-time MotoGP World Champion Rossi produced a superb start in the race, jumping to second behind teammate Lorenzo on the first lap. Championship leader Marc Marquez was running third behind Rossi early in the race.

But then Rossi ran wide in Turn 11 on Lap 2 and Lap 3, dropping to 11th. He rallied to finish sixth, but the damage was done.

If Rossi could have kept Marquez behind him for the entire race, winner Lorenzo could have pulled to within nine points of Marquez with only the season-ending Grand Prix of Valencia remaining. Lorenzo could have won the title with a victory even if Marquez finished third in the final race.

But now Marquez only needs to finish fourth or better to clinch the title. He has finished in the top three at 15 of 17 races this season.

The imperious Rossi of five years ago would have tucked behind Lorenzo to protect Lorenzo and parry Marquez, if needed. But mistakes on consecutive laps under pressure proved once and for all Rossi no longer is among the top three riders in the world.

Talent Pipeline Flows to MotoGP: Next season will mark the sixth time in the last seven years that the intermediate class World Champion will climb immediately to MotoGP, as Pol Espargaro of Spain clinched his first Moto2 world title by winning the Grand Prix of Japan.

Espargaro will make his full-time MotoGP debut next season for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 as a teammate to 2013 rookie and former Moto2 rival Bradley Smith. Espargaro will join his older brother, Aleix, in the premier class.

Six of the last seven Moto2 or 250cc World Champions have climbed to the premier class the season after their title since Jorge Lorenzo won his second 250cc title in 2007 and was promoted to the Yamaha Factory Racing team in MotoGP in 2008. Other riders who were promoted to MotoGP straight from intermediate titles included Hiroshi Aoyama (2009 250cc World Champion), Toni Elias (2010 Moto2 World Champion), Stefan Bradl (2011) and Marc Marquez (2012).

Only Marco Simoncelli stayed in the intermediate class for another season after winning the 250cc world title in 2008, climbing to MotoGP in 2010.


TOP FIVE FINISHERS (Grand Prix of Japan, Twin Ring Motegi, Motegi, Japan):

1.    Jorge Lorenzo    Yamaha Factory Racing
2.    Marc Marquez    Repsol Honda Team
3.    Dani Pedrosa    Repsol Honda Team
4.    Alvaro Bautista    GO&FUN Honda Gresini
5.    Stefan Bradl    LCR Honda MotoGP

American finishers: Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team, ninth; Colin Edwards, NGM Mobile Forward Racing, 12th.

TOP FIVE POINTS:

1.    Marc Marquez    318
2.    Jorge Lorenzo    305
3.    Dani Pedrosa    280
4.    Valentino Rossi    224
5.    Cal Crutchlow    188

American points: Nicky Hayden, ninth; 118; Colin Edwards, 14th, 40; Ben Spies, 21st; 9.

NEXT RACE:

Grand Prix of Valencia, Nov. 10, Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, Cheste, Spain.


***


2014 tickets: Tickets for the 2014 Red Bull Indianapolis GP will go on sale Monday, Nov. 4 by visiting www.ims.com/tickets, calling 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 or visiting the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at 866-221-8775 for more information.

Information on camping at IMS during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP is available at www.ims.com/tickets. Hotel package information can be found at visitindy.com/redbullhotels.

 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
MotoGP Trendspotting: Grand Prix Of Japan
 
MotoGP Trendspotting: Grand Prix Of Japan
Jorge Lorenzo of Yamaha Factory Racing won the Grand Prix of Japan on Sunday, Oct. 27, the 17th of 18 events in the 2013 MotoGP World Championship that included the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 16-18 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Related Media
Ed Carpenter
 
Pruett's Preview: Firestone 600, Continued
With the Verizon IndyCar Series and TMS left to halt the race after 72 laps (173 kilometers) and multiple delays due to bad weather, the ninth race on the 2016 tour will take the green flag after a 78-day hold. And with 177 laps (427km) left to complete, teams will receive two brief 10-minute warmup sessions before the field is placed into the positions each driver held on the last lap in June and sent into furious action at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Read More
Indy 500
 
101st Indianapolis 500, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis Highlighting 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series May Schedule
The series released its full 2017 schedule and it includes the iconic 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 28 and the fourth annual Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 13.
Read More
Sky Lounge
 
Sky Lounge, Checkered Flag Club Offer Upscale Options for Red Bull Air Race Viewing
For the first time in more than a century, the racing action at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be in the skies rather than on the pavement for the Red Bull Air Race.
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Pruett's Preview: ABC Supply 500
Ryan Hunter-Reay didn’t want to celebrate his win at Pocono last year. And he wasn’t alone. Points and trophies were duly awarded after the checkered flag flew at the 2-mile superspeedway, but in light of the accident that would claim the life of his teammate Justin Wilson the following day, Pocono 2015 is more a reminder of what IndyCar lost than anything its finishers gained.
Read More
John Cooper
 
Remembering John Cooper
John Cooper, who died Wednesday at the age of 84, was a major player in the motorsports world, not just during his time from 1979-82 as the president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He was the kind of man who knew not only the big sponsor developments of the day, but why Joe Smith missed Saturday night’s feature at the local dirt track. Cooper was as much of a racing enthusiast as a mover-and-shaker.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,304
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
RETWEET to congratulate @GrahamRahal on winning the closest #Firestone600 in @TXMotorSpeedway history! https://t.co/kbkf8b36g7
about 16 hours ago