Hafizh finishes 13th

MOTEGI, (Japan) — Malaysia’s Hafizh Syahrin emerged 13th in the Japanese Grand Prix Moto2 race at Motegi yesterday.

The Petronas Raceline Malaysia 22-year-old rider ended the race in 43:18.245s.

Thomas Luthi of Switzerland held off championship leader Johann Zarco’s challenge to win the race, his third victory of the season.

Italy’s Franko Morbidelli completed the podium after a last lap duel with home star Takaaki Nakagami for third.

Zarco, who began the race just one point ahead of Rins, will now take a 21-point lead into this weekend’s Phillip Island round.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Khairul Idham Pawi with Honda Team Asia, finished 19th in Moto3 with a time of 40:4.450s.

Italian Enea Bastianini of Gresini Racing beat world champion South Africa’s Brad Binder of Red Bull KTM Ajo by just 0.017s to win the race.

In the highlight race, Marc Marquez grabbed his third world championship by winning the Grand Prix with rivals Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo crashing out in a stunning surprise.

The 23-year-old Honda rider became the youngest man to win three premier-class world championship titles, and did so at Honda’s home circuit, where he had never won before, with three more races remaining in the season.

Marquez finished the 24-lap race in 42:34.610s in dry, sunny conditions, 2.992s ahead of Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and 4.104s ahead of Maverick Vinales of Suzuki.

“Obviously, it’s an amazing feeling,” Marquez said immediately after his victory.

He knew he had a chance to claim the trophy but securing it would require Yamaha duo Rossi and Lorenzo to perform uncharacteristically slowly, so Marquez focused on expanding his 52-point lead against Rossi.

He started second on the grid, after Rossi. Last season’s champion Lorenzo also started in the front row.

Marquez said he had struggled find his form early in the season and felt immense personal pressure after a stressful 2015 season, which was marked with crashes, lost opportunities and an open feud with Rossi, while Lorenzo reclaimed the world championship.

“Last year, I paid an expensive price. I learned,” Marquez said, adding he became a wiser rider.

The stunning result came after a number of riders suffered a series of crashes throughout the weekend.

Honda rider Dani Pedrosa returned to Spain for an operation after fracturing his collarbone in a crash during Friday practice.

Lorenzo experienced a spectacular crash on Saturday and was airlifted to hospital, where he was quickly declared fit for the race but was left with foot pain.

Marquez also suffered a small fall while testing a hard tyre. — Agencies

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