A whole host of the Moto3 grid have never ridden the Motegi track, putting Sasaki, Suzuki and their fellow veterans in the spotlight this weekend.
Gaviota GasGas Aspar’s Izan Guevara hammered home his advantage at MotorLand with another superb win, and it's now a sizeable 33 point gap at the top as the paddock heads for Mobility Resort Motegi. But next it's uncharted territory for the number 28 and his fellow fresh faces in the class, with the veterans looking to stamp some authority and two home heroes in particular lining up a win.
Guevara's teammate Sergio Garcia will be the first looking to use experience to his advantage, closely followed by Leopard’s Dennis Foggia, as they both came away from Aragon almost empty handed. The likes of Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia and Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max’s John McPhee will also want to make their previous knowledge pay. But the weekend will have all eyes on the local talent as the grid returns to Japan, and two of them especially will want some home glory: Leopard’s Tatsuki Suzuki and Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max’s Ayumu Sasaki.
Suzuki has hit some good podium form this season and will most definitely want to replicate that on home turf as a minimum, but it's Sasaki who's really on a roll. Despite some bad luck and trouble, the number 71 is homing in on the championship top three and arrives back to Japan as a Grand Prix winner and consistent podium finisher. Can he take another victory at Motegi?