This weekend the MotoGP circus travelled to the Motegi circuit in Japan, for the postponed Japanese GP. The event, which was scheduled for the end of April, was moved to October in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the country earlier in the month. The Japanese fans were treated to thrilling racing action, which saw Shark’s supported riders claim a win and valuable points.
After a season of six second-place finishes, Johann Zarco claimed victory crossing the line 5.9 seconds ahead of title rival Terol. The Frenchman started the 14th round of the championship on pole and went straight into battle with Terol. The Shark rider was able to make a move on the 14th lap, when Terol made a mistake on the brakes, leaving a clear field ahead. The well-deserved win means that Zarco has narrowed his championship points to 31 behind Terol with three GP’s remaining.
In the Moto2 championship, Shark’s Stefan Bradl lost his title lead after finishing the race in fourth place – he’d held the top spot since the British GP in June. During the race Bradl swapped places with Corsi and de Angelis who were not going to give in easily, however a brief mistake from both riders gave Bradl some breathing space and he was able to secure fourth. Marquez leads the title chase by a single point, 235 to 234 ahead of Bradl.
The MotoGP Championship continues from Australia in two weeks time, and then heads to Malaysia for the penultimate round. Before the final round commences at Valencia on 5-6 November.
Meanwhile, in France the penultimate round of the World Superbike Championship came from Magny Cours, which saw Shark-supported riders on the podium and in the points.
World Supersport rookie and popular Brit Sam Lowes scored his sixth podium, and third second place finish of the season. Qualifying on the front row, Lowes was within 1.582 seconds of a race win in perfect conditions in France. Eventual winner Scassa passed the 21-year-old with just six laps remaining. Lowes is now within seven points of fourth place with one race remaining, as he campaigns for his first race win in WSS. Fellow Shark supported Fabien Foret was unable to continue his winning streak at his home race, and lost a slim chance of taking the title after securing eighth place.
Shark riders in the World Superbike Championship enjoyed a weekend of point scoring finishes. Sylvain Guintoli finished race one in sixth place, and within the top five in the second race, while Troy Corser finished both races in ninth position and Tom Sykes was 10th in race one.
The championship will conclude in two weeks time from Portimão in Portugal, where all riders will be fighting for those valuable final championship points.
Shark riders were also in full swing at the Irish Mondello Masters races, Keith Farmer added a second title to his 2011 season by claiming the Irish Mondello Master Superstock 600 race. Also, Michael Sweeny took the Irish Mondello Masters Supertwins Championship, with Ronan Pentony taking the third spot.
Johann Zarco: It is an absolutely amazing feeling! We worked great with the team during the whole weekend to find fast riding lines for this track and we succeeded.
Sam Lowes: I struggled for the first few laps with myself more than anything but I kept clawing away at it. When Luca came past me I dug deep but did not have the pace to catch him. Still, it is another second place and a big thank you to my team for all their support this weekend. I am looking forward to Portimao in Portugal for the final round – that is the home of my Parkalgar Honda team and I want to be fighting for the win there.