Motegi Moto2: Marquez wins, Morbidelli extends points lead

Alex Marquez scored his third Moto2 victory of the season in wet conditions at Motegi, as Marc VDS teammate Franco Morbidelli stretched his points advantage despite finishing eighth.

Motegi Moto2: Marquez wins, Morbidelli extends points lead
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The shortened 15-lap race was led for much of the way by local hero Takaaki Nakagami, who converted pole position into an early lead ahead of Xavi Vierge and Mattia Pasini.

Marquez dropped from second to fourth on the opening lap, but soon settled into his rhythm and was back to his starting position by the end of the second tour.

Nakagami was able to keep Marquez a safe distance behind until around halfway, when the latter began to close on the MotoGP-bound Honda protege.

The Japanese rider managed to stave off an attack by Marquez on the ninth lap, but was powerless to prevent the Spaniard from coming through at Turn 11 two laps later.

From there, Marquez was able to reel off the remaining laps for his first win since June's Barcelona race and the eighth of his grand prix career.

After losing the lead, Nakagami began to fade dramatically, and was passed for second by Tech 3 rider Vierge with four laps to go before being demoted by a charging Hafizh Syahrin later that lap.

Petronas rider Syahrin looked to have the pace to challenge Marquez in the closing laps, but couldn't clear Vierge, who scored his first-ever grand prix podium in second.

Behind Syahrin, Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing VR46) made a late surge to fourth place ahead of Pasini, both of whom passed Nakagami on the final lap.

From 15th on the grid, points leader Morbidelli recovered to finish eighth, one place behind KTM rider Miguel Oliveira and 11.4s down on teammate Marquez at the finish.

With nearest rival and future MotoGP teammate Thomas Luthi only managing 11th, it means Morbidelli carries a lead of 24 points into the final three races of the season.

Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer) and Luca Baldassarri (Forward) completed the top 10 finishers.

 Race results:

1 73 spain Alex Marquez  Kalex 32'08.901
2 97 spain Xavi Vierge  Tech 3 1.465
3 55 malaysia Hafizh Syahrin  Kalex 3.134
4 42 italy Francesco Bagnaia  Kalex 5.415
5 54 italy Mattia Pasini  Kalex 5.618
6 30 japan Takaaki Nakagami  Kalex 6.163
7 44 portugal Miguel Oliveira  KTM 7.597
8 21 italy Franco Morbidelli  Kalex 11.400
9 77 switzerland Dominique Aegerter  Suter 11.572
10 7 italy Lorenzo Baldassarri  Kalex 14.310
11 12 switzerland Thomas Luthi  Kalex 26.571
12 87 australia Remy Gardner  Tech 3 30.183
13 23 germany Marcel Schrötter  Suter 30.597
14 33 japan  Ikuhiro Enokido  Kalex 32.037
15 6 united_kingdom Tarran Mackenzie  Suter 35.252
16 37 spain Augusto Fernandez  Speed Up 38.385
17 27 spain Iker Lecuona  Kalex 40.934
18 49 spain Axel Pons  Kalex 41.470
19 40 france Fabio Quartararo  Kalex 42.757
20 45 japan Tetsuta Nagashima  Kalex 43.147
21 24 italy Simone Corsi  Speed Up 45.410
22 34 japan  Ryo Mizuno  Kalex 46.813
23 89 malaysia Khairul Idham Pawi  Kalex 50.531
24 32 spain Isaac Viñales  Kalex 51.898
25 2 switzerland Jesko Raffin  Kalex 53.699
26 62 italy Stefano Manzi  Kalex 1'01.051
27 57 spain Edgar Pons  Kalex 1'04.776
28 9 spain Jorge Navarro  Kalex 1'07.423
Ret 41 south_africa Brad Binder  KTM 8 laps
Ret  5 italy Andrea Locatelli  Kalex 9 laps
Ret  11 germany Sandro Cortese  Suter 9 laps
Ret  19 belgium Xavier Simeon  Kalex 10 laps
Ret  10 italy Luca Marini  Kalex 14 laps
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