Race of the year: 1st - Japanese Grand Prix, Motegi
After another epic season of racing, MCN’s sports team of Michael Guy (Sports Editor), Simon Patterson (MotoGP reporter) and Oli Rushby (Superbike reporter) sat down to discuss their favourite races of the year across MotoGP, World Superbike, British Superbike and road racing.
It’s been a year of huge action across all classes – and it wasn’t an easy decision to cut down the 120-odd races we’ve seen this year to a mere five. Here’s what we think - but feel free to disagree with us in the comments!
1st - Japanese Grand Prix, Motegi
There’s been closer races and races with more riders in the mix than the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix – but it is very rare indeed that you see something quite like what happened back in October, with two riders locked in a championship battle going head to head in some of the worst conditions imaginable…
It was all to play for going to Motegi this year, with Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez locked in battle separated by only a handful of points with four races left on the calendar. But, with the first weekend in recorded history where every single session of the weekend was wet, the Japanese circuit delivered conditions anything but perfect for such a crucial battle.
Yet that didn’t stop the pair diving and lunging at each other for almost the entire race, trading places with wildcard Danilo Petrucci getting stuck in for good measure.
And despite being so close to the wire, it was an incredible last lap pass from Dovi that secured the win, showing just how much confidence he has in Michelin’s incredible wet tyres by making a block pass stick on Marquez – and then holding off the reigning world champion with nothing less than a tactical masterclass in the final corner. Incredible stuff!