Thomas Luthi has taken a dominant victory in the Japanese round of the 2016 Moto2 championship, as Brit Sam Lowes' title aspirations came to a crashing halt after crashing out of the race while looking strong.
The Swiss rider, fast all weekend and always fast at Motegi, cleared off from the opening seconds of the race, with even a late effort from Johann Zarco unable to take the win away from. Franco Morbidelli won the frantic scrap for second, holding off local hero Takaaki Nakagami despite a series of desperate moves in the closing corners of the race.
However, with Lowes crashing out of the race having just made his move on Zarco and preparing to hunt down Luthi, his title hopes are now all but over, as he goes into the remaining three races of the year trailing the Frenchman by some XXX points in the title race.
And it was a strong day all round for Zarco, too, as Alex Rins crashed out of the race in the opening seconds. Brining a close to a disastrous weekend for the Spaniard, it helps extend Zarco's lead over him to 21 points.
Moto3 world champion Danny Kent had a bad end to his race too, after a broken gear linkage took him out of contention for what he felt could have been a solid top ten.