Dre’s MotoGP 2014 Japanese Grand Prix Review

Read time: 6 mins

“Three, plus one.”

Hey folks, Dre here with the first in a two and four wheeled Double Header this past weekend, as the MotoGP crazy train started its first of a Triple Header back-to-back across the Asian part of the world, with the Japanese Grand Prix from the Twin Ring Motegi circuit! No pressure on Honda with it being Honda’s home race or anything…

In this Review we’ll talk about Jorge Lorenzo’s most irrelevant ever victory, Marc Marquez sealing his second MotoGP Championship, Thomas Luthi’s first win in over 2 years, Maverick Vinales stunning form, and wrapping up Moto3, where Jack Miller’s penultimate corner mistake may have sealed Alex Marquez’s birthday and Christmas presents, all in one late breaking package! Here’s what I made of Japan, 2014!


[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]Lorenzo Motegi[/fusion_imageframe]You may have missed it, but Jorge won!

Yeah, I feel bad for Jorge on this one. His 33rd top class victory was a brilliant ride given the circumstances, from 5th on the grid, and the execution was VINTAGE Jorge Lorenzo. Get a brilliant start to counter your weak qualifying, go all-out early on to take the lead then start setting the metronome by setting stupidly fast laps for the rest of the race. It’s a formula that if you let happen, he’s nearly impossible to beat.

Jorge’s form has been unreal in the second half of the season – Six straight Top 2 finishes with back-to-back wins, which we haven’t seen since Marquez’s streak of 10. All of a sudden, Jorge looks prime candidate to get that 2nd place in the Championship back, a streak going back to 2009.

It’s great to see Jorge come back and be at his best after a season filled with struggles in terms of recovering from pre-season surgeries, and adapting to a bike that more favoured Rossi in the early going. The status quo is definitely returning. If only we had THIS Lorenzo from the start…

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]Part-HKG-Hkg10105769-1-1-0[/fusion_imageframe]Let’s be real, this was Marquez’s coronation

Was it ever in doubt? Took him probably a race longer than he would have liked, but Marc Marquez sealed his second consecutive title in MotoGP, his 3rd consecutive world title in all classes, and 4th overall. We’ve now held him to such a standard, where starting 4th on the grid and finishing 2nd, is “average” to him. THAT’S how good he is now.

Marquez hasn’t had things go his way, and was in a shaky run of form in Misano and Aragon, but he bounced back here, beat his two major rivals in Rossi and Pedrosa convincingly when it mattered, and for the first time, Honda had taken a Championship at home.

And it was a wonderful celebration as well, very Rossi-esque. Releasing a balloon being very spiritual, a Samurai with a sword, epitomizing the Japanese culture down to the ground. Wonderful showmanship, and touching scenes with his brother, and in the paddock when Valentino Rossi said: “Congratulations, you little bastard!”

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[fusion_counter_box value=”111″ unit=”” unit_pos=”suffix” icon=”” border=”yes” color=”#dd9933″ direction=”up”]Races[/fusion_counter_box]
[fusion_counter_box value=”43″ unit=”” unit_pos=”suffix” icon=”” border=”yes” color=”#dd9933″ direction=”up”]Career Wins[/fusion_counter_box]
[fusion_counter_box value=”67″ unit=”” unit_pos=”suffix” icon=”” border=”yes” color=”#dd9933″ direction=”up”]Podiums[/fusion_counter_box]
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I don’t need to go on forever, about just how good this kid is, you’ve heard it all before on this site. He could retire tomorrow, and his Hall of Fame spot would be guaranteed with all the records he’s broken. He’s rewriting the history book, one page at a time… He has 17 top class wins in MotoGP, more than 50% of the races he’s ever entered, 20 Pole Positions… AND HE’S STILL ONLY 21. Dude has 15 more years in him if he wants it. And that thought alone is TERRIFYING when he’s beaten a prime Lorenzo and Pedrosa to get there.

Bravo Marc Marquez, you might be the best pound-for-pound athlete in Motorsport right now. There is no superlatives left. I seriously think he’s the best raw talent this sport has EVER seen. And he’s a lovely bloke. Seriously, can this kid do no wrong?

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]luthii-9018697533-8986397264[/fusion_imageframe]Thomas Luthi Dominates in Moto2

Chalk another one up for the old guard! I’ve always like Thomas Luthi, he’s always been an incredibly solid, experienced rider, who always seemed to be overlooked whenever the top class needed some talent. And it was a brilliant and unsurprisingly mature ride from the 28-year old Swiss as he lead from start to finish to take his first Moto2 victory since Le Mans 2012, 45 races ago.

It was another brilliant ride from Maverick Vinales in 2nd, who just ran out of time after clearing another busy 2nd pack, continuing his great form, and Tito Rabat took a conservative, but important 3rd, adding another 5 points to his Championship lead with team mate Mika Kallio in 5th. Also, nice to see Kallio’s future employers, the Italtrans team up there in 6th and 7th as well.

Rabat’s Championship lead is up to 38 points from Kallio with just 3 rounds to go. Surely now only a meltdown from Rabat will cost him the title. Heck, with Vinales now only 32 points back from Kallio himself, even 2nd might not be a certainty…

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]140022[/fusion_imageframe]Did Miller gift wrap Marquez the Championship?

I always thought this was going to be a critical weekend in terms of the Moto3 Championship chase. Jack Miller for the first time had to chased going into a round, in a Moto3 season he was in control of, right from the very start. Not to mention, he was going to a track where he it would play to his main strength of heavy braking on that KTM of his.

And in another Moto3 classic, Miller seemed to always be in control, leading from the front while the leading pack of seven (Miller, Marquez, Binder, Oliviera, McPhee, Vazquez and pole-sitter Danny Kent), seemed to tangle themselves up further back, Alex Marquez in particular getting bullied around a little bit.

But on the final lap, all hell broke loose as the entire field went for broke. Jack Miller was in the middle of a swarm as Danny Kent got nearly ran out onto the grass on the inside, with Alex Marquez going the long way around, but Miller and Kent overcooked it going into the penultimate downhill right hander at Turn 11, Miller hitting false neutral in the process, and as a result, he dropped to 5th over the line, with a visibly distraught Danny Kent in 6th. He knew he had a shot, Motegi being his strongest track.

And on a plate, Alex Marquez finally broke his streak, going 7 races without a win, with 3 runner-up finishes behind up. Hard to believe Marquez’s last win as back in Assen in June. Reminds me a lot of Maverick Vinales’ Moto3 Championship last season, where he didn’t win often, but was ultra-consistent and was never out of the title race.

Marquez was given an almighty gift this round, his #1 rival Miller choking at the end, costing himself 14 points, but Alex Rins getting pushed wide on the opening lap meant he finished a miserable 10th. Now, the kettle’s come to the boil, and with that win, he extends his Championship lead to 25 points over Jack Miller, Rins now 37 points back in 3rd. With only 75 available, it very well could be a two horse race for the Championship, Miller needing some Marquez mistakes most likely to win, and with Marquez carrying a streak of four straight 2nd or better finishes, that might be a pipe dream. Are Rufea Gang going to seal all three Championships?

Also, a brilliant ride from John McPhee in 4th, the best finish in his career to date. That podium is coming, trust me…


Let me know what you thought of Motegi, and as always, thanks for reading![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the Author:

Dre Harrison

Bookies Manager, writer, podcaster and video maker for all things Motorsport. Loves sneakers, card games and sports, but refuses to stick to them.

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