Tom Luthi's powerful start, early pace and consistent lapping proved to be enough to give the Swiss rider his first win since 2012 as Vinales tried everything but failed to match his pace in the Japanese Moto2 Grand Prix.

Maverick Vinales came close to catching the Interwetten rider, but failed to match his pace when it counted most at Twin Ring Motegi.

Luthi gave the unfavoured Suter a much needed win by 1.2s. After a great start saw Luthi in charge from lap one and at one stage build an advantage of 2.3 seconds over a hard-to-pass Johann Zarco.

It is also just Luthi's second podium position finish of the year, the first being a third place promotion after Nakagami's disqualification in the opening round in Qatar.

The initial chasing pack of five splintered with Paginas Amarillas HP 40 rider Maverick Vinales taking a new lap record as he chased down the Swiss racer, with Tito Rabat, uneasy and taking strange lines on his Marc VDS onto the dirty track in the early stages, in hot pursuit.

Despite cutting the gap down to 1.2 seconds by the flag and being helped along by two minor mistakes by Luthi, rookie of the year Vinales had to settle for second as the advantage on track remained big enough for the Interwetten rider to stay in charge to the end.

Vinales efforts pulled him well clear of championship leader Rabat who was in turn also unchallenged for third.

The result moves the Spaniards tile lead to 38 points over his closest rival, team-mate Mika Kallio who found himself battling for position in the chasing group

Though initially also in the mix, AirAsia Caterham's Johann Zarco, Marc VDS's Kallio and a resurgent Julian Simon for Italtrans were left to battle it out for the off-podium positions.

Zarco had battled hard not to be overtaken by Vinales and Rabat but managed to hold off the rest to eventually pull away for fourth, Kallio finished fifth only just keeping Simon at bay over the line.

Three seconds behind his team-mate Franco Morbidelli was also riding solo in a splintered field in seventh, the latest in a string of top ten finishes for the improving rookie rider.

Hafizh Syahrin came close to a best finish of the season in but came up one place short in eighth for Petronas Raceline Malaysia, with Ricky Cardus ninth for Tech 3 and Federal Oil Gresini rider Xavier Simeon competing the top ten finishers.

Eleventh went to the battling Aspar of Jordi Torres, with the Jonas Folger next across the stripe for the AGR Team in twelfth and top home rider Taka Nakagami 13th for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia.

Gino Rea had an impressive run after technical issues blighted his weekend all the way up to warm-up, the Londoner picking up positions as he raced his way to 14th for AGT REA Racing.

Luis Salom picked up the final point on offer for the Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Pons team.

Tasca Racing's Riccardo Russo was the first faller on lap one with Britain's Sam Lowes first trip around Motegi not lasing much longer after a good start which had pushed him into the top ten, the Speed Up man crashing out on lap four.

Sandro Cortese slipped out of eleventh place with 17 laps to go, with Forward Racing's Mattia Pasini not lasting much longer. Both riders rejoined but did not trouble the points places.

Also falling over the duration were QMMF's Ant West, Tech 3's Marcel Scrotter and Axel Pons, who was running in the top ten for AGR Team at the time of his fall.

Dominique Aegerter span out with just two laps to go from eighth, but held on to his Technomag bike, pointing it in the right direction to rejoin and finish 18th.


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