#RacingTogether: Suzuka 92 – The first Dorna GP

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We take a look back to Japan 25 years ago for the first ever GP of the Dorna, FIM, IRTA and MSMA collaboration.

With an unrivalled 62-year history of elite competition, MotoGP™ is the world’s premier motorcycling championship, comprising an nine-month, 18-round season, in 13 different countries, spanning 4 continents. Dating back to 1949, it is the oldest motorsport World Championship in existence.

Each Grand Prix brings together the most talented riders from across the world, to participate in races across three distinct categories – MotoGP™, Moto2™ ” Moto3™.

Ferrari claim new pit stop record

Ferrari have unofficially claimed a new record for the fastest F1 pitstop ever from the Japanese Grand Prix.

The record was at at 1.9 seconds which was set by Red Bull in 2013, but Ferrari claim they pitted Kimi Raikkonen in 1.85 seconds during the race at Suzuka.

The team used the undercut to help Raikkonen get past the Williams of Valtteri Bottas by pitting one lap earlier, and after the record breaking stop the Ferrari managed to get out and stay ahead of Bottas.

Alonso critical of ”GP2” McLaren

Fernando Alonso has admitted his embarrassment at the current form of the McLaren-Honda.

Dennis and Alonso- Source- Telegraph

Both Alonso and team mate Jenson Button were easily overtaken by various drivers and the Spaniard voiced his criticisms over the team radio branding the Honda power unit as a “GP2 engine”.

For Button it was the first time that he has started a race in Suzuka and failed to reach the top 10 as he finished in 16th, whilst Alonso barely held onto 11th.

Button said after the race that it is comparable to a ”Samurai warrior without a sword and armour”.

The Briton’s future with McLaren is in doubt as is Alonso’s who despite having a three year contract with the team failed to confirm if he will be at the Woking team in 2016.

In 2007 Alonso had a multiple year contract with McLaren, but quit after one season after clashing with then rookie Lewis Hamilton as well as falling out with team principal Ron Dennis and playing an unhelpful role with the Spygate scandal.

Dennis has expressed his annoyance at Alonso’s outspoken remarks, but he will avoid any confrontation they may antagonise the fiery Spaniard.

Hamilton storms to Suzuka victory

Lewis Hamilton was in imperious form as he overtook Nico Rosberg to win the Japanese Grand Prix.

Victory at Suzuka was the eighth time Lewis Hamilton has topped the podium this season.
Hamilton on top again -Source- The Guardian

Hamilton took back to back victories in Suzuka and in the process equalled Aryton Senna’s winning form by taking his 41st Grand Prix victory.

Rosberg who started from pole finished the race in second after fending off a challenge from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who took the final spot on the podium.

At the start both Mercedes cars got off to good starts but Hamilton was neck and neck with Rosberg by turn one and although the German pushed hard, Hamilton forced his team mate wide after turn two and took the lead.

By forcing Rosberg wide, it allowed Vettel and Valtteri Bottas to slip through. Vettel had a good start are quickly passed Bottas which suited the Singapore GP winner perfectly to pass his fellow German.

Further back their were three first lap punctures as Daniel Ricciardo made contact with Felipe Massa before turn one, which meant a long drive back to the pits to fit new tyres.

Start of Japanese Grand Prix
Hamilton took the lead early on Source BBC

Sergio Perez’s Force India also picked up a puncture after some first lap contact and he too was forced to pit early.

Hamilton quickly pulled away from Vettel as the race settled down, and most of the racing action came from further back on the grid with Max Verstappen putting on some brilliant overtakes.

The Dutch driver started further back than expected after breaking down in qualifying and picking up a subsequent penalty, but he pushed hard with the Lotus drivers and his own team mate.

Daniil Kvyat who crashed out in qualifying started from the pit lane, but although he was able to get in the mix with the midfield at times, the Russian suffered numerous issues predominantly with his brakes.

The first wave of pit stops didn’t alter the order much, but the second wave made an impact on the front.

Kimi Raikkonen was trailing Bottas for most of the first half of the race, but used the undercut by pitting a lap earlier than his fellow Finn to get past and stay in front.

For the other Ferrari it very nearly worked out also, but Vettel who pitted a lap late than Rosberg was passed by the Mercedes driver along the pit straight after Rosberg put in a stellar outlap.

In the end Hamilton was unstoppable and stormed to back to back wins in Suzuka by a comfortable margin from Rosberg.

Vettel closed in on Rosberg towards the end of the race but had to settle for third, but Raikkonen taking fourth meant a good points haul for Ferrari.

Bottas followed ahead of Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India and helped keep the team in fifth place in the constructors championship.

The points were crucial as Lotus managed their second double points finish of the season with Romain Grosjean in seventh ahead of Pastor Maldonado.

The Toro Rosso’s rounded off the top ten with Verstappen taking ninth after starting in seventeenth and Carlos Sainz taking the final point, after both rookies finished in the points in Singapore it means that for the first time in the teams 10 seasons, they have taken two successive double points finishes.

There were no points for Red Bull, and McLaren suffered a bad day in front of their home Honda fans after being swamped by various drivers.

Fernando Alonso bemoaned over team radio what he described as a ”GP2 engine” and said it was ”embarrassing’.’

Japanese Grand Prix grid

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Row 1 1 -Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2 -Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
Row 2 3- Valtteri Bottas Williams
4- Sebastian Vettel Mercedes
Row 3 5- Felipe Massa Williams
6 -Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
Row 4 7- Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
8 -Romain Grosjean Lotus
Row 5 9 -Sergio Perez Force India
10 -Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso
Row 6 11- Pastor Maldonado Lotus
12- Fernando Alonso McLaren
Row 7 13- Nico Hulkenberg* Force India
14 -Jenson Button McLaren
Row 8 15- Marcus Ericsson Sauber
16- Felipe Nasr Sauber
Row 9 17- Max Verstappen** Toro Rosso
18 -Will Stevens Manor
Row 10 19- Alexander Rossi Manor
Pitlane Daniil Kvyat*** Red Bull

* Nico Hulkenberg three-place penalty due to Massa crash in Singapore
** Max Verstappen three-place penalty due to stopping in a dangerous place during qualifying
*** Daniil Kvyat’s car required significant repairs after big crash during qualifying so he will start from the pit lane