Niccolo Antonelli put in a classy and assured performance to dominate a wet Japanese Moto3 Grand Prix at Twin Ring Motegi, his second win of the season.

With Honda only needing a podium finish from any of their riders, his win also hands them the Moto3 constructors title in style, their first win in the lightweight class since 2001.

Antonelli arrived at Motegi as the in-form man, the Italian has an impressive record of eight top six finishes in the last ten races including three podium finishes, one of which was his first race win (Brno).

The Ongetta-Rivacold rider hit the front immediately and by the half way point had extended his lead to a hefty four seconds. He was caught by a chasing Oliveira towards the end of the race but had done enough to ease across the line for a win by just over a second.

The shortened race distance of thirteen laps and wet track conditions only served to make the race even more competitive and aggressive for the places behind.

Miguel Oliveira had been one of the four riders sanctioned for slow riding on the racing line in FP3 and qualifying (The others being Navarro,Masbou and Kornfeil after Kent and Fenati escaped sanction as their slow laps were out-laps) but immediately picked up places in the tricky conditions sliding into second in the opening corners.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider had shown great pace all weekend like Antonelli and was too unfazed by the change in weather and held off the many riders who tried to challenge him from third with ease.

After Isaac Vinales became the fourth person to crash out of third place Jorge Navarro found himself on the podium for the second consecutive race. The Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider had his first ever podium finish in the Moto3 class at the last round in Aragon.

Incredibly the gap behind them was big enough for RBA rider Vinales to rejoin for a fourth place finish.

Zulfahmi Khairuddin excelled in the wet and claimed his first top ten finish of the season in fifth for Drive M7 SIC.

Behind the Malaysian was a big battle for the rest of the top ten places, lead by title rivals Danny Kent and Enea Bastianini.

Gresini's Bastianini had managed to run much higher than Kent for much of the race distance before the Leopard rider, who dropped to tenth on lap one and found himself as far back as sixteenth, rallied and set about reducing the points difference as it became clear that a title win in Motegi was not on the cards.

The Briton made his move through the last of the chasing pack with five laps to go before confidently passing Bastianini as the race drew to a close, increasing his title points lead by just one possibly crucial point, to 56.

Karel Hanika pushed hard to take eighth on the final Red Bull entry to finish, holding off John McPhee who again pulled out all the stops in the damp conditions, ninth after starting 24th for SaxoPrint-RTG.

The British rider in turn held off the rapidly approaching Efren Vazquez pushing him all the way on his Leopard in tenth, with top Mahnindra rider Jorge Martin not far behind in eleventh.

Twelfth over the line was Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC) with Tatsuki Suzuki the best home rider at Motegi in 13th for CIP.

The final points on offer went to Gresini's Andrea Locatelli in 14th and Francesco Bagnaia on the Mapfre Team Mahindra in 15th.

Wild-card Ryo Mizuno was the first to fall swiftly followed by Alexis Masbou crashing out under the bridge, Hiroki Ono, who was at the time running third before losing control of the rear and pole man Romano Fenati.

Alessandro Tonucci was next to retire. Livio Loi was also running third when he slid into the gravel after four laps as was Brad Binder before his high-side with just three laps to go.

Remy Gardner fell with just two laps remaining.

Japan's other wild-card entry Keisuke Kurihara finished his home race in 25th.

Fabio Quartararo found Motegi a struggle on his injured foot and pulled out of the race. He is expected to try to race again next weekend in Phillip Island.



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