Toni Elias edged closer to clinching the inaugural Moto2 title by taking his seventh win of the season at Motegi. Julian Simon did his utmost to prevent the points leader winning again, but could not find a way past Elias and had to settle for another second place.
Elias had burst through from fourth on the grid to lead the opening lap, ahead of Yuki Takahashi, Simon and Scott Redding, who ran as a close quartet in the early stages.
Takahashi and Redding could not keep up the leading pace though, so Elias and Simon were soon in a battle of their own. They swapped places twice on lap three, but that was the only chance Simon would get. He shadowed Elias right to the end, but never had another opportunity to pass, crossing the line 0.3 second behind the victorious Gresini Moriwaki.
Alex de Angelis and Karel Abraham worked their way out of the pack to join Takahashi and Redding in a battle for the final podium spot. After some bold late moves, it was 2011 Ducati MotoGP privateer Abraham who managed to finally take his first podium at world championship level, just ahead of de Angelis, Takahashi and Redding.
Simon is now the only man who can deny Elias the Moto2 crown, although even the reigning 125cc champion is 81 points behind with just 100 available in the remaining four rounds.
Andrea Iannone and Thomas Luthi's slim title hopes disappeared in this race, with Luthi making good progress through the midfield but unable to get beyond eighth, and Iannone dropping back on the first lap and later going through the gravel, leaving him 13th.
Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1. Toni Elias Moriwaki 43m50.930s
2. Julian Simon Suter + 0.315s
3. Karel Abraham FTR + 9.839s
4. Alex de Angelis Motobi + 10.178s
5. Scott Redding Suter + 11.237s
6. Yuki Takahashi Tech 3 + 12.778s
7. Stefan Bradl Suter + 17.284s
8. Thomas Luthi Moriwaki + 17.892s
9. Roberto Rolfo Suter + 19.235s
10. Alex Debon FTR + 19.568s
11. Simone Corsi Motobi + 22.713s
12. Dominique Aegerter Suter + 23.417s
13. Andrea Iannone Speed Up + 25.847s
14. Claudio Corti Suter + 27.528s
15. Raffaele de Rosa Tech 3 + 28.696s
16. Jules Cluzel Suter + 29.629s
17. Sergio Gadea Pons Kalex + 34.072s
18. Mike di Meglio Suter + 37.087s
19. Axel Pons Pons Kalex + 40.460s
20. Michael Ranseder Suter + 40.653s
21. Gabor Talmacsi Speed Up + 40.855s
22. Kenny Noyes Promoharris + 42.287s
23. Anthony West MZ + 44.814s
24. Ratthapark Wilairot Bimota + 46.745s
25. Kazuki Watanabe Suter + 49.749s
26. Valentin Debise ADV + 49.964s
27. Ricard Cardus Bimota + 1m14.349s
28. Mashel Al Naimi BQR + 1m15.823s
29. Yannick Guerra Moriwaki + 1m16.189s
30. Hector Faubel Suter + 1m21.900s
31. Robertino Pietri Suter + 1m26.024s
32. Vladimir Ivanov Moriwaki + 1m27.673s
33. Ferruccio Lamborghini Moriwaki + 1m41.644s
34. Kouki Takahashi RBB + 1m45.570s
Joan Olive Promoharris 21 laps
Alex Baldolini ICP 21 laps
Yonny Hernandez BQR 20 laps
Hiromichi Kunikawa Bimota 11 laps
Fonsi Nieto Moriwaki 3 laps
Yusuke Teshima TSR 0 laps