Starting the Japanese Grand Prix from P28 on the grid, Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Philipp Öttl could barely avoid a crash of two contenders in the first corner, but came away at the back of the field. Lap by lap, the German made up some positions to eventually see the chequered flag at the Twin Ring Motegi inside the top 20.

Meanwhile Marco Bezzecchi, who started from the third row of the grid, came off the line well and was finding himself in the top 10 of the field. The Italian Moto2 rookie managed to stick with the top guys of the intermediate category and clinched ninth past half distance of the race, but unfortunately was sick and had to stop his hunt for glory at the beginning of lap 13.

Philipp Öttl

Position: 20th

Championship: 33rd

Points: -

"This morning I tried something I wanted to try already Saturday, but due to the rainy conditions it wasn’t possible. Now I aim to follow this way further next week. I think it’s a track, where you need it. Overall, I’m now able to turn the bike a little bit better in order to have a better exit out of the corners, but the gap to the front is still too big. I think this was also because of the lack of speed on Friday this weekend. I’m looking forward to Australia."

Marco Bezzecchi

Position: DNF

Championship: 22nd

Points: 17

"Until half race distance, I was feeling well on the bike and managed to truly stick with the front guys. We had a best result in sight, but unfortunately, I felt sick around halfway of the race and after throwing up, I didn’t see any possibility to finish the 22 laps. I’m sorry to my guys! I don’t understand, where this was coming from, but I will for sure try to find a solution in order to repeat this performance in Australia and bring it to the finish line."

Hervé Poncharal

Team Manager

"Until around half of the race we were very, very excited to see Marco fighting in the top group, clearly in the top 10. He was catching the guys in front of him and we were keeping our fingers crossed for him to carry on with that speed and to give us another top 10 result, which was more than a high possibility, I think. Unfortunately for the second time in a row he has been throwing up inside his helmet. The same thing happened in Thailand, fortunately there in practice. He couldn’t see, he couldn’t ride anymore. I think, this is a big shame, because I don’t know what exactly happened, maybe he was a bit nervous or he ate too close to the start of the race, either way, we couldn’t finish the race due to something that is very silly and very strange. It’s a pity, but anyway, if we want to take the positives out of it; he was fast in Qualifying, fast in the race and we are very proud. So, let’s hope we can fix that situation and understand where it’s coming from. On the other side of the garage, Philipp did his best, pushed, but starting far down was never going to be easy. But he finished the race. Let’s hope everyone is travelling safely to Australia and we can open another chapter there."


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