Second victory in a row for Luca Marini in Japanese nail-biter as the World Championship fight intensifies
After scoring his first pole in the Moto2™ category on Saturday, Sky Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini followed on from his win in Thailand and took another victory in Japan after a nail-biting finish to the 22-lap race.
From the start, he made best use of his 765cc Triumph triple power and earned himself a small gap at the front, followed by early-season race winner Lorenzo Baldassarri of Flexbox HP40. Meanwhile Dynavolt Intact GP’s Thomas Luthi was on a charge, climbing from his start position of 7th whilst championship leader Alex Marquez was embroiled in a battle for 6th on his EG 0,0 Marc VDS machine.
By the halfway point a charging Luthi had caught and passed Marini and himself built a small lead, whilst the pack in which Marquez found himself after a couple of ragged moments, switched positions from fourth to tenth.
In the closing laps, the battles intensified, and with just three laps to go the fight raged for the lead between Luthi and a resurgent Marini, and for third position as Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jorge Martin caught Baldassarri.
With almost perfect synchronicity, with just two laps remaining, Marini made his move on Luthi for the win whilst Martin passed Baldassarri for the final step of the podium, and his first podium using Triumph power. Luthi now moves into second in the championship, and with Marquez finishing sixth, closes Alex’s advantage to 36 points. Just 14 points then separates second to fifth, with 75 still to play for.
Steve Sargent, Triumph’s Chief Product Officer, said: “Motegi often yields some great racing and that was no exception with the battles for all three podium places being decided by just tenths of a second. Congratulations to Luca Marini for back to back victories using Triumph power. It’s been a tricky weekend for the riders and teams with a very rain-interrupted day of qualifying on Saturday, as can happen in this region of Japan, but still the total race time was the fastest it’s been for Moto2 over the full 22-lap distance, so it shows even with limited dry running we can be very happy with the performance of our 765cc Triumph triple.
The Triumph Moto2™ 765cc race engine is a development of the class-leading Street Triple RS 765cc road motorcycle and produces more than 140PS and the same visceral soundtrack.
Next up for the Moto2™ category is Australia next weekend, 25-27 October, as the second of the back-to-back triple of Japan, Australia and Malaysia.
Notes to Editors
- The Triumph Moto2™ 765cc race engine is a development of the class-leading Street Triple RS 765cc road motorcycle with the same visceral soundtrack.
- First established in 1902, Triumph Motorcycles celebrated 115 years of motorcycle manufacture in 2017. For more than three decades, Triumph Motorcycles has been based in Hinckley, Leicestershire, and has produced iconic bikes that perfectly blend authentic design, character, charisma and performance.
- Building around 65,000 bikes per year, Triumph is the largest British motorcycle manufacturer and has around 650 dealers across the world.
- This focus, innovation and engineering passion has today created a broad range of bikes suited to all motorcycle riders, including the iconic new Scrambler 1200, epic Speed Triple, the game changing all new Street Triple 765, the class defining Tiger 900, transcontinental Tiger 1200, iconic Triumph Bonneville family including the stunning Speed Twin, Bonneville Bobber, legendary Thruxton, accessible Street Twin, Street Scrambler and iconic Bonneville T120 and T100, plus an exciting and accessible A2 range of Triumph motorcycles.
- Triumph currently employs around 2,000 personnel worldwide and has subsidiary operations in the UK, North America, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, Sweden (Scandinavia), Benelux, Brazil, India and Thailand as well as a network of independent distributors. Triumph has manufacturing facilities in Hinckley, Leicestershire, and Thailand plus CKD facilities in Brazil and India.
- The Triumph Bonneville, famously named to celebrate Triumph’s 1956 land speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, was the original British superbike and a race-winner straight out of the crate, chosen by famous motorcyclists of the past for its legendary handling, style, and character. It’s that handling, character and style, married to modern rider-focused technology that makes the new Bonneville family THE authentic modern classic choice today.
- Triumph has a glorious racing history, competing in and winning races in almost every class and field of motorcycle sporting achievement. From winning the second ever Isle of Man TT in 1908, through to 1960s road and track domination in Europe and America, right up to contemporary racing achievements with the 675cc Triumph triple powered 2014 Daytona 200 win, the 2014 Isle of Man Supersports TT win, the 2014 and 2015 British Supersports titles and World SuperSport racing, and again this year, with another victory at the Isle of Man Supersports TT, piloted by Peter Hickman. And of course with the new generation 765cc triple engine powering the 2019 Moto2™ championship, Triumph’s racing legend continues.