the Japanese Grand Prix stopped by rain, Jorge Martin declared winner in confusion

The rain disrupted the race on the Motegi circuit on Sunday and only allowed a large half of the Grand Prix to be contested.

France Télévisions – Sports Editorial



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Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati) during the sprint race of the Japanese Grand Prix at the Motegi circuit, September 30, 2023 (TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP)

Dantesque conditions, general confusion and a little more suspense in the championship… This Japanese Grand Prix will remain one of the events of the MotoGP season. The race was hampered by rain, giving Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati) another victory on Sunday October 1, under a red flag. The Grand Prix could not be completed, but more than half of the laps having been completed, all the points were awarded. To the delight of the Spaniard Martin, who pounces on Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2nd this Sunday), with only three points behind in the championship. On the other hand, there are great regrets for Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati), who fell before the last interruption and who was downgraded for a regulatory subtlety while he was making a crazy comeback. Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) took 10th place.

The race was chaotic from its start to its conclusion. The flood hit just before departure. Johann Zarco was the first victim, pushed into the gravel trap at the start and leaving dead last. Once the horse changes had been cleared, the debates were able to resume, and the Martin-Bagnaia duel continued, despite a scare for the Spaniard. His compatriot Marc Marquez (Honda) danced in the rain, moving up to 3rd and on the podium for the first time this season.

At a frantic pace in these conditions, Zarco could also have claimed a place at the top of the hierarchy since he returned to 6th place before falling due to aquaplanning. Poorly indicated by the track marshals, the Frenchman did not pass a specific line on his return to the pits. The scenario is infuriating, one more twist in a crazy day, and a championship tighter than ever, with six races remaining.

Relive the race.

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