Following twelve rounds of the 125cc season, the top three riders in the championship - Nico Terol, Pol Espargaro and Marc Marquez - are covered by just 11 points heading into this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.

That is the smallest ever margin covering the top three 125cc riders (after twelve races) since the current scoring system was introduced in 1993.

Each of the trio has led the championship during the season, starting with Terol. The Aspar Aprilia rider held the lead from rounds 1-4, while Marquez had been only fifth, 33 points behind Terol, after three races.

Marquez then won five races in a row from Mugello (round four) onwards to open up a 26 point lead over Espargaro after round eight in Germany, with Terol (who crashed in Catalunya and missed the race in Germany) dropping back to third place, 39 points from Marquez

But since returning from injury, Terol has finished either first or second in each of the four races to re-take the title lead - which he had lost to Marquez in Catalunya - at the recent Aragon round.

Although Espargaro has only briefly topped the championship table, following the British Grand Prix (round five), the Tuenti Derbi rider has been most consistent with his challenge for the title, never more than 26 points behind the leader.

Espargaro has failed to score points just once, when he crashed out in Germany, while Terol and Marquez have suffered two non-scores each.

This weekend's event starts with Terol leading Espargaro by six points, and Marquez in third.