Japanese GP
Oct 27

MotoGP: Lorenzo Wins Japanese Grand Prix To Keep Title Fight Alive

Jorge Lorenzo (front) managed to hold of Marc Marquez (middle) and Dani Pedrosa (back) to win Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix. (Photo: Getty Images)

Jorge Lorenzo (front) managed to hold of Marc Marquez (middle) and Dani Pedrosa (back) to win Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix. (Photo: Getty Images)

Jorge Lorenzo has triumphed for the seventh time in 2013, winning Sunday’s AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan. The Yamaha Factory Racing rider fought off a stiff challenge from Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa to ensure that the MotoGP title battle goes down to the wire for the first time since 2006.

Providing a truly unpredictable end to the late-season triple-header, the Motegi weekend was very much shaken up by inclement weather conditions; this led to the cancellation of all track action on Friday as well as heavy modifications to the Saturday agenda. Ironically, Sunday’s race took place under clear blue skies in Japan.

Oct 26

MotoGP: Bradl Leads Final Japanese GP Practice As Marquez Crashes

Stefan Bradl set the quickest time in Sunday's Japanese GP practice. (Photo: Getty Images)

Stefan Bradl set the quickest time in Sunday’s Japanese GP practice. (Photo: Getty Images)

Stefan Bradl was quickest as Sunday practice was staged ahead of the AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan. The LCR Honda MotoGP rider led the way from Repsol Honda Team pairing Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez, with the championship leader having walked away from a high-speed crash earlier in the session.

After the disruption of Friday and Saturday, there were now blue skies and a warm morning. Bradl, back in action after fracturing an ankle in Malaysia just over two weeks ago, posted the session-leading effort of 1’46.440, 19 thousandths of a second up on Pedrosa and one tenth quicker than Marquez. In-turn, the rookie – who could claim the world title later today – beat Yamaha Factory Racing’s pole-sitter Jorge Lorenzo to fourth spot by 17 thousandths, having rejoined from his crash which featured the Spaniard bouncing across the Turn 12 gravel trap.

Oct 26

MotoGP: American Ben Spies Announces Retirement From Racing

American Ben Spies announced today that he is retiring from racing. (Photo: Getty Images)

American Ben Spies announced today that he is retiring from racing. (Photo: Getty Images)

Ducati and Ben Spies have announced that the American is to retire from racing competition. The Ignite Pramac Racing rider has competed in only two MotoGP races so far this season in a year heavily affected by injuries.

“Ducati Motor Holding and Ben Spies announced today that the American will not be racing in 2014 after the parties reached agreement to resolve Ben’s current contract with the Italian racing manufacturer,” reads a Saturday statement.

“The 29-year-old Texan had signed a two-year agreement with Ducati at the end of last season to race in MotoGP in 2013 and 2014 as part of the factory-supported Ignite Pramac Racing Team.”

Having injured his right shoulder while competing with Yamaha Factory Racing in the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix, Spies required further rehabilitation this year and suffered a further setback when he crashed in free practice at Indianapolis.

Oct 26

MotoGP: Masterful Marquez Eyeing Victory In Japanese Grand Prix

Marc Marquez takes a corner during MotoGP qualifying at Twin Ring Motegi. (Photo: Getty Images)

Marc Marquez takes a corner during MotoGP qualifying at Motegi. (Photo: Getty Images)

World title aspirant Marc Marquez will seek his place in history by going for a win in the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.

Fearless and fast Marquez says his first instinct is put the title beyond the reach of his main rival Jorge Lorenzo at the Twin Ring Circuit on Sunday.

It is a race strategy that has taken the Spanish tyro to the brink of history. He is just a handful of points away from becoming the youngest ever winner of the MotoGP crown and the first rookie winner since Kenny Roberts in 1978.

Oct 26

MotoGP: Hayden On Front Row For Penultimate Race With Ducati

Nicky Hayden celebrates after qualifying third for Sunday's Air Asia Grand Prix of Japan. (Photo: Getty Images)

Nicky Hayden celebrates after qualifying third for Sunday’s Air Asia Grand Prix of Japan. (Photo: Getty Images)

Nicky Hayden made the most of Saturday’s 75-minute qualifying session at a damp Twin Ring Motegi, as the American rider captured his first front row start since Jerez in 2012.

Hayden held the provisional pole for much of the final 30 minutes, but his best time of 1:54.539 would only be good enough for third. Pole winner Jorge Lorenzo and championship leader Marc Marquez were the only riders to outpace the 2006 MotoGP World Champion.

Although Hayden was pleased with third, he admitted to being bitter over failing to nab the pole, which would have been his first since Portugal in 2007.