Overcast conditions and the ever-present threat of rain marked the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship’s return to the far orient and to the demanding 14 turns and 4.8km length of the Mobility Resort Motegi.
The globe’s fastest motorcycle racing series had not circulated the Japanese course for three years and Motegi was yet another new stage for CFMOTO in Moto3™. Together with the purposeful CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP crew, riders #99 Carlos Tatay and #43 Xavier Artigas are hoping for more trophies before the season comes to an end in Valencia, Spain on November 6.
Due to tense weather conditions and organizational conditions, there was only one single session of free practice on Friday. For Tatay and Artigas it was the first kilometers on the Motegi circuit. While the CFMOTO riders were still getting a first feel for the layout on Friday, they had to compete in qualifying on Saturday in stormy conditions and pouring rain. Both riders already had to prove their talent in Q1. With the second best time, Tatay moved into Q2 and secured an 11th grid position for the race. Artigas fastest lap placed him 23rd on the grid.
Moto3™ took place over 20 laps on Sunday morning and in a much better climate thanks to blue skies and sunshine. Sadly, Tatay’s race lasted less than a lap after an incident with Kaito Toba in Turn 10 ended his Grand Prix prematurely. Artigas meanwhile concentrated on making time from the outskirts of the top twenty. He pushed up to 15th and hovered on the precipice of Grand Prix points by the middle of the distance but got quicker and more efficient with his overtaking to take 11th for the second successive weekend.
CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP are currently the sixth best team from a total of fifteen in Moto3™. Carlos Tatay stays 10th in the riders’ championship while Xavi Artigas is close behind in 11th. The Chang International Circuit in Buriram will host the OR Thailand Grand Prix next weekend.
#43 Xavier Artigas I P11
“I’m quite happy with the weekend overall. A new circuit for me and we had very few laps here in the dry but my feeling on the CFMOTO bike was good. In the race we weren’t quite sure how it would go so I held back a little, saved a few crashes and then started to build a rhythm and gained some positions in the second half of the race whole lowering my lap-times. I’m pleased about this.”
#99 Carlos Tatay I DNF
“Not much to say. I missed a bit of acceleration on the first lap but there was nothing I could do about another rider crashing into me! One to forget and time to think immediately of Thailand next week.”
Results Moto3™ Motul Grand Prix of Japan
1. Izan Guevara (ESP), GASGAS 39:26.526
2. Dennis Foggia (ITA), Honda +0.593
3. Ayumu Sasaki, (JPN), Husqvarna +1.741
4. Sergio Garcia (ESP), GASGAS +9.338
5. David Muñoz (ESP), KTM +9.414
11. Xavier Artigas (ESP), CFMOTO +22.023
DNF. Carlos Tatay (ESP), CFMOTO
Pictures by ©  RLekl