Redding makes the Top Ten
Scott Redding achieved the goal he set himself by taking tenth place in the Grand Prix of Japan. With Tito Rabat having withdrawn, at Motegi Alex Marquez flew the flag of the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS alone in the Moto2 category. The Spaniard finished eighteenth.
After the disappointment of the Grand Prix of Aragon, Scott Redding got off to a fairly good start on the tour of three overseas races that will take the riders from Japan to Malaysia via Australia. At Motegi, the Brit started by getting a place in the Q2 by managing to finish second in the Q1. In the race, the Honda rider made the most of a daring tyre choice to take the chequered flag in tenth position. Although rain had rinsed the track since morning and everyone had opted for a soft compound rain tyre on the rear wheel, Scott took the start with a hard-compound tyre.
“I wasn’t comfortable in the early laps because my tyres were struggling to heat up,” he explained. “But when the track began to dry I got the benefit of my tyre choice. I was able to move up the pack and overtake several riders and make it to the top ten, which was my goal in Japan.”
In Moto2, Alex Marquez also hoped for a good result. For many laps in the top ten, the unfortunate Spaniard left the track after a violent highside.
“From then on, I had no feeling with the bike and couldn’t seem to make the pace,”
said the Kalex rider who crossed the finish line in eighteenth place.
After chalking up six more points in Japan, Scott Redding has consolidated his thirteenth place overall. The Honda rider is now only a length away from Maverick Viñales.
In Moto2, Tito Rabat remains in second place despite having to withdraw in Japan. Alex Rins only finishing in eleventh place, the rider of the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS keeps his seventeen-point lead over his compatriot. Alex Marquez on the other hand has dropped two places, and is now thirteenth, level on points with Dominique Aegerter.
This time it’s certain: Tito Rabat will not keep his Moto2 world champion title. The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider lost it in Japan to Johann Zarco, even before the start of the race, having to withdraw after the first free practice session. After fracturing a radial bone when he fell during a workout a few days earlier on the Almeria circuit, Tito had to have surgery for a plate to be screwed onto the bone before flying to Motegi.
“I tried to ride but it was too dangerous,” he explained. “I lacked strength, and on this circuit where the braking is heavy, I would have taken too many risks. We’ll see next week if I’m better for Phillip Island. I’d still like to take second place in the championship from Rins.”
After breaking a collarbone in July, this is the second time this year that Rabat has been seriously injured while training. For Michael Bartholemy, the team needs to learn something.
“I understand that a rider needs to practice,”said the boss of the Belgian team. “But it has to be under optimal safety conditions. Tito can’t ride and take care of the mechanics all alone as he likes to do. We’ll have to keep a closer watch over him in the future.”