WTCC: Yvan Muller takes main race win in Motegi – Japan as Lopez wraps up the championship

WTCC: Yvan Muller takes main race win in Motegi – Japan as Lopez wraps up the championship
Jose Maria Lopez claims WTCC title for Citroen

Jose Maria Lopez claims WTCC title for Citroen

Yvan Muller and José María López finished first and second in the main race at Motegi (Japan) to claim the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC’s fifth one-two of the season. The result means that the Argentinian is provisional world champion for the third year running, whilst Citroën took another step closer to a sixteenth World Championship title.

Despite the overnight rainfall, the track had dried by the time the sun was high in the Motegi sky. The stiflingly hot and humid conditions nonetheless made conditions difficult for the drivers.

In the opening race, Yvan Muller and José María López started from ninth and tenth positions on the grid. When the lights went out, the Citroën Total drivers moved through the field and up into seventh and eighth places. A few corners later, Yvan also managed to grab sixth place from Tom Chilton. It wasn’t long before Pechito followed suit!

Yvan then tried to find a way past Nick Catsburg. This gave Pechito a chance to close on and overtake his team-mate after a minor coming together. Shortly afterwards, Catsburg’s determined defence was breached and the two team-mates set off in pursuit of Thed Bjork, who suffered the same fate!

Fourth and fifth respectively, López and Muller obtained the best possible result given their starting positions. The scored important points towards both the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ World Championships.

After the damaged bodywork components were quickly replaced, the two works Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs lined up on the front row of the start grid for the main race.

Pechito made a perfect start to enter the first corner ahead of Yvan. Setting a blistering pace for the rest of the field, the two men wasted little time in moving clear. In truth, the two leaders were very comfortable at the front as they headed towards a one-two finish.

But with two laps to go, the no. 37 Citroën C-Elysée WTCC moved aside to let the no. 68 car past. Certain to win the title by finishing as runner-up, José María López handed victory to his team-mate.

For the first time this season, Yvan Muller therefore crossed the finishing line as the race winner. This enabled him to draw level with Tiago Monteiro in second place in the Drivers’ World Championship.

Second-placed Pechito López scored enough points to claim a third consecutive drivers’ title, as he now has an unassailable 120-point lead.

In the Manufacturers’ standings, Citroën moved a little bit closer to a sixteenth world title, having already won five Cross Country Rally World Cups, eight World Rally Championships and two World Touring Car Championships. The next round, held in Shanghai (24-25 September), should prove decisive!

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY
Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal: “Everything worked well today, with a great fightback from our drivers in the opening reverse-grid race and a one-two finish in the main race. We achieved one of our goals this weekend with José María López, who provisionally retained his World Championship title. Although we still have a few races left to contest together, this is the beginning of the end of a great adventure that we started almost three years ago. In deciding to let Yvan win today, Pechito showed the team spirit that drives us all. We are now going to prepare for the next race, which should enable us to secure the Manufacturers’ title. We’d also like to finish first and second in the Drivers’ standings. Yvan drew level on points with Tiago Monteiro today, so he is ideally placed to finish as runner-up!”

José María López: “I must be one of the happiest men in the world tonight! When you watch motorsport on television, maybe you think that drivers are cold and aloof, but I can assure you that I’m feeling very emotional right now. I’ve had three fantastic seasons with Citroën Racing and I think a lot of drivers would love to be in my shoes. Competing in the WTCC has been a great opportunity for me in my career, but I am most indebted to the team. As regards my gesture for Yvan, it was a way of showing the respect that I have for him. I took the decision on my own, but it wasn’t easy to give up a victory. It’s always difficult to win races and I said to myself that it would be hard not to hear the Argentinian national anthem on the podium, especially on the day I win the title. But I thought that I might not have too many other opportunities to do it. I’ll keep fighting in the last few races – apart from anything else, we still have work to do to win the Manufacturers’ title.”

Yvan Muller: “First of all, I would like to congratulate Pechito on this third title. He deserves it because he is currently the best driver in the category. In addition to being a great driver, he’s also a great man. Obviously, I hadn’t asked him to let me past, because that’s not how I like to win races. But he did what I have done in the past, most recently in Argentina when I decided to help him. There is genuine mutual respect, built on our shared determination to ensure Citroën wins. Now that I am level on points with Tiago, I’m going to try and finish as runner-up in the championship.”

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30 minutes ago

CircuitProDigital

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31 minutes ago

CircuitProDigital

Get well soon Dovi !! ... See Less

34 minutes ago

MotoGP

Less than ecstatic after the race 👊

P2 for Marc Márquez on the day but P1 in the championship 💪

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
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Glad he talked about his concern for Dovi. That was good to hear. Sportsmanship is everything regardless of placings.

I love the whole sportsman ships these racers have for each other, 1 of the reasons to love Motogp ❤

Amazing race by amazing pilots.

He may lose a battle here and there, but always wins the war, its part of racing. His consistency in finishing on the podium has been unmatched in recent times. Great to see him pushed and challenged by Dovi, Rins, Vinales and Quartararo.

congratulations Alex Rins you made my day

Congrats MM u did very well fighting off Rins but at the end Rins was the winner. Well deserved win. Lets bounce back with the next race. Sad about Dovi hope he is doing ok.

marquez did loose the race.....only just, but he knows that when they showed his pit board of dovi out, that he did not have much to loose, but his competitive nature, would never allow him to settle for 2nd or third. if you want to get on the podium, you've got to out ride or out think him........

I thought he handled himself reasonably well given that he would obviously disappointed

Well done 42 rins ya dancer 😃😃😃💪👍

MM i Love you 💙

What a fantastic young man. So sad that some supposed MotoGP fans can't see beyond their hateful bias against him. Ultimately blamed himself for making a mistake on the last corner, acknowledged Rins race craft for remaining in second, and disappointed that Dovi crashed out - what more do you want?

He seemed ok to me in that interview. Was a great race from start to finish.

😂🤣😂🤣

You see he is dissapointed!!! Not a way we see marquez much....

Sometime you have to accept lost to be a winner...

One of the best race ever

Spoilt child. He was at max for too long and wiped out his tyres, whereas Rins never looked anything other than at ease and riding within himself which kept his tyres fresh so he could get drive out of the final corner. Marc shot his tyres hence why he nearly lost it coming through Woodcote and why he had to throttle back and had no traction.

BURNERS OF ANO ... IN THE FAMILY .... THE BROTHER THAT WAS SOLD ... LIKE THE BEAUTIFUL SLEEPING ... 😂😂😂😂

😘😘😘

❤️❤️❤️

Glad to see mm eat some humble pie

🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪

Uncapable of admiting the other rider's superiority on that last turn.

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36 minutes ago

CircuitProDigital

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2 hrs ago

MotoGP

What a dramatic start we saw at Silverstone! 😱

Thankfully, Fabio Quartararo and Andrea Dovizioso were able to walk away from this scary crash! 💥

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
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Hope Dovi will be fine 🤕

Was right near this, was horrific to see bit thankfully they hobbled away

That was vicious. No life threatening injuries? Good day. Thank god for quality equipment.

Wishing Dovi a speedy recovery.

Dovi is out of luck this season. So sad to see a competitive rider ruling out of the race.

Hope both riders are ok wish them both a speedy recovery

Absolutely horrific. Was anxious to see if Dovi got up. Thankfully he did. Wishing both riders swift recovery.

I hope Fabio and Dovi are both okay

I was right next to this incident, both Dovi and Fabio were limping as they walked away, hope both are ok, what a fantastic race, Rins and Marc in a dogfight to the end, top day !!

Did anybody know if they have injuries?

Quel dommage pour ces deux superbes pilotes! #20

A very dangerous game yet we love it soooo much. Thanks to all rider who deliver a very competitive race every year. Dovi n Fabio, speed recovery please. I believe anyone who sit on that situation cant avoid hitting the loose bike.

Athleticism of MotoGP riders are amazing.. be safe.

Get well soon.. A big thanks to Quart and Dovi, Rossi got the 4th or else he will be 6th 😂

Dovi was lucky to walk away from that .

Hope Dovi is ok and back racing real soon

Dovi lost his memory after the crash.. 😢

I just hope that Dovi is okay that was a terrible thing to watch.

In situations where dovi needs the most points 😱

Was scary was right in front of us 😱🏍❤️

Never nice to see anyone hit the tarmac that hard. I think it could’ve been a proper scrap at the front if they had both been in the mix

Unlucky that's only an expression thoug ☺ but they're desire a luck to fulfilling their achievement

The problem started with Rins who had to brake and almost lost The front.

Why did his bike catch fire, very unusual. Just one of those things.

Any update news from medic about dovi's situation?

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3 hrs ago

MotoGP

"I've beaten two legends: Rossi in Texas and Marquez today" - Alex Rins

Hear his reaction after his impressive last corner win yesterday! 🏆

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
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Well done for a well deserved win! But to be a real champion, you Need to be the best more consistently.

Rins, you were great, you got everything out of the bike. in the curves you were flying with Suzuki. You are always in our hearts, great champion.

A fantastic demonstration of race craft by Rins. A brilliant race. Congratulations.

Spectacular effort, congratulations on an awesome win.

Well done mate a great ride.

You are so beautiful, Amy

Congratulations to Rins and Suzuki can’t wait to see the Suzuki boys at Phillip island 🌴

A superb race Alex. Once more, Congratulations. You certainly deserve them. A remarkable finish and fight till the finish line. This is what Moto GP should be all about. Great job 😉

A fantastic rider with an amazing machine!!! Congratulations Álex Rins!!!

Congratulations

Congrats Alex!!

Be great to see suzuki up near the top👍. He's a talented rider.

He can't beat Jorge 😬😬😬

Good to see marquez not on the top step this time. Congratulations Rins! Shame for Dovi.

So, MM can be beaten at his own game. Every dog has its day.

Félicitations. Superbe dépassement dans le finish. Moi j'adore le regarder car il a un style de pilotage assez particulier. Il est très droit sur la moto. On a l'impression qu'il force pas. 😁

One fact he gracefully accepts there are only two legends on the current grid: "I've beaten two legends: Rossi in Texas and Marquez today"

Credit where it's due, great ride. The Suzuki is where Yamaha should be.

ครึ่งล้อนี้จำไปนาน

Congratulations Rins👏👏💪

Love this guy so honest not like MM93

You are amazing and i mean not only as a rider but as a person TODA GAS

And the coverage kept showing the yamaha pit why

During the race Rin's was definitely by far the better rider💪🏼+ the bike Suzuki performed well under pressure 🔥..

Yamaha m1, factory team need to replace Rossi, to progress, That's from a top Rossi fan.

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15 hrs ago

F1

Which team has impressed you most so far in 2019? ... See Less

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I would say Williams for the most reliability and focused pit crew. They're only left to improve on pace.

I'm a Mercedes fan but have to say McLaren have done an amazing job this year considering their performance over the last few years.

McLaren has impressed the most because last season they where horrible and now they are best of the rest. Also Red Bull and Honda seem to be a nice match, would love to see Max finish what Jos started with Honda. Most disappointing this season are Haas and Renault. Renault because they wanted to close the gap to the top 3, but right now they are 6th. And they are the only unreliable engine in the field right now. Haas is having a horrible season, they seem to be getting worse during the season instead of improving.

Good to see that McLaren is performing well. I'm sure the team's ability to improve will be remarkable with every race from now on.

Must say McLaren, with the team spirit that they have, and results they managed to achieve... Definitely my favourites this season.

Williams have had the worst start to an F1 team in history. And I think with their tiny budget and willpower, the amount they’ve improved is impressive. They’re still far behind but I hope to see them fighting for podiums in 2021

If Bruce was still here he would be proud of his team. Mclaren improved the most.

McLaren. Consistent development and improvement over the season so far. Alfa Romeo has been somewhat of a surprise also.

Being on top is one thing but staying at the top is the art of the game. Kudos to Mercedes for getting it right so far.... #WeMakeItLookEasy

Ferrari have been the most impressive, from being the slowest manufacturer in 2014 to being a reasonable threat and smashing McLaren and Williams comprehensibly. McLaren and Williams should just pack their bags and go home, Ferrari have nailed their coffin shut and it can be considered karma for their various indiscretions in 1990 (senna wiping out prost), 1994, 1997 (Villeneuve incident), 1998, 1999, 2007 (spygate), 2008... The British public couldn't care less about McLaren or Williams they only support whatever "British" team is winning, in this case Mercedes

I’m super impressed with Toro Rosso, hard to believe this is the old Minardi team where both their drivers exceeded all expectations!!

Ferrari fan for life, but McLaren have done an incredible job so far, considering how far back they were

Redbull and Honda engineering. The aerodynamic has been sorted and the engine now also reliable. Watch that space, they could challenge for the title next year!

None the sport is finished and I've followed the sport since the early 80s

Mclaren, they have made a huge turn around this season. With andreas seidl at the helm, the only place they re going is up

Hi F1 and fans .... with all the media attention to the envirement and green thinking etc etc etc. Is there a research or developement posted in any magizine about the developemt of how clean the F1 is today. We all know that all top research of F1 is implemented in the modern cars but i like to read how clean F1 is now in 2019 .. 👍

McLaren (and I'm faraway from being a fan! If there was a person I didn't like in Formula 1, that person was Ron Dennis). Anyway I'm glad to see them finally getting together again and mainly without supposed big shot drivers who can't do nothing but complain! Now they need to find a good engine because with Renault it will be near impossible to go any further...

McLaren is the most impressive.. Mercedes just has luck week after week.. Hoping Ferrari will get their things together for the second half..

Red Bull / HONDA‼️ Young Max may be awesome, but so is the way Red Bull has adapted to Honda’s engine. The last 2 years of griping about the Renault power plant is (almost) justified...

Haas, they have surprised me on how bad they are this year. Compared to last year this year has been terrible. They were fighting Renault for top of the mid pack, this year they are fighting for points at all.

And yet no Ferrari or anyone else 1st with the exception of RB. Hybrid era is killing with the beyond dominance of Merc being so far ahead of everyone else’s pace. Some competition would be nice! Don’t give me that bullshit of everyone should bring it to the table, there’s some crazy advantage behind the scene that you Merc fanboys don’t know about. Yawn.

It would be nice to see Mclaren back up there permanently fighting for the title. Always was a fan

the gap between top three teams and the rest is too much

Quite a gap between 3rd and 4th also between 10th and racing cars.

Williams been sandbagging the first half of the season just to give the others a glimp of hope, beast mode on in second half of the season

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