The Japanese Motul Grand Prix was not spared by rain but the red and white logo firm and its technical parners had plenty of reasons for satisfaction on 14 and 15 October in Motegi, beginning with the pole bagged by Monster Yamaha Tech3 driver Johann Zarco and the 30th anniversary of the partnership between Motul and the factory Suzuki team at the highest level of Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Johann Zarco no longer craves every single feat. The French rookie bagged his second pole of the season with rain tyres on a drying track. But the level is so high in MotoGP that the slightest detail can distance you from the podium. Slight road handling issues, slippage on accelerating... for a long time 4th, Zarco secured a meritorious 8th place.
The thirtieth anniversary of the partnership between Motul and Suzuki at the pinnacle of circuit motorcyle racing (Grand Prix 500, then MotoGP) was duly feted with Andrea Iannone's 4th place and Alex Rins' 5th. The Italian and the Spaniard rode their best race of the year! Suzuki and Motul have shared 39 wins in the top category, culminating with the world titles secured by Kevin Schwantz in 1993 and then Kenny Roberts Jr in 2000. The latest success to date was clinched by Maverick Viñales in 2016.
Aprilia Racing team Gresini could also be proud of excellent performances in Japan with the 4th qualifying time of Aleix Espargaro followed by a 7th place in the race! Congratulations to Avintia for Loris Baz' 10th place.