Marc Marquez produced a brilliant fight back through the field in today’s Japanese Moto2 Grand Prix to take a giant step towards lifting the 2012 world title.
The Spaniard recovered from a disastrous start after realising his Suter machine wasn’t in gear when the lights went out to start the 23-lap race and he claimed a narrow victory over closest title rival Pol Espargaro.
Marquez was almost last at the first corner but it took him only nine laps to hit the front when he passed early leader Esteve Rabat.
Marquez though was unable to make a clear break and he came under intense pressure from compatriot Espargaro, who had won at the Motorland Aragon last month to keep his title hopes on track.
Espargaro made a mistake on the penultimate lap while in close pursuit of Marquez and that seemed to have denied him his chance to score a fourth win of the season.
He produced a rousing last lap to recover the lost ground but once again Marquez remained ice cool under pressure and he was able to hold on to score his eighth win of the season.
With just three races remaining Marquez extended his lead to a commanding 53-points and he can now clinch the Moto2 world title at next weekend’s Sepang race in Malaysia.
Rabat collected his first rostrum of the season having kept his pace consistently fast enough to fend off an potential attack from Scott Redding and Thomas Luthi.
Redding secured a hard fought fourth place despite experience rear grip issues while Bradley Smith’s podium bid was ended early when he was forced to retire with a blown engine in the early stages after he had held fourth.
Gino Rea finished in a lowly 25th.