They may be elite grand prix motorcycle riders going to battle on two wheels around Motegi - but this was anything but a MotoGP race.
While the Japanese Grand Prix is this Sunday, eight MotoGP and Moto2 riders including Britain's Scott Redding elected to get the competitive juices flowing early at Motegi with a bizarre race on mini motorcycles.
Racing on electric mini-bikes, the riders teamed up with local children in a 'tag-team' grand prix around Motegi's go-kart circuit.
From left, MotoGP riders Aleix Espargaro, Alex Rins, Tito Rabat, Alvaro Bautista, Johann Zarco, Andrea Iannone, Takaaki Nakagami (Moto 2) and Scott Redding pose with their mini bikes
Having drawn pole position, Rabat leads away the field on Motegi's go-kart circuit
Rabat looks to fend off Zarco for the lead as the duo start another lap on the mini electric bikes
There may have been no points on the line, but that didn't stop the riders from deploying every trick they could to secure victory.
For Redding, that stretched to using his mini-bike as a push scooter, while Frenchman Johann Zarco was a frequent corner cutter in a battle for a first place.
Tito Rabat led at the halfway stage before the riders pitted and handed over their bikes to their younger team-mates.
Desperate to try and get past the Honda rider, Zarco takes to the grass during the race
Bautista leads Nakagami into a corner with Iannone left trailing in the first half of the race
During the race, the bikes switched to local children as Rins helps his team-mate out the pits
Having avoided any punishment from a lacklustre (or non-existent) race control, even then the professionals couldn't resist getting an advantage as they pushed the children's bikes out of the pit-lane to continue the race.
Rabat's protege held on to claim victory as build up begins towards the main event at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.
Having won in Aragon last time out, Honda's Marc Marquez leads the world championship by 16 points from Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso.
Yamaha duo Maverick Vinales and Vanetino Rossi are also on the fringe of the title battle along with Marquez's team-mate Dani Pedrosa with just four rounds remaining.
Watched by their elder team-mates, the children completed the race on the bikes as Espargaro's protege crosses the line following the chequered flag at the end of the race
Rabat gives the thumbs up alongside his team-mate - with the duo taking victory at Motegi
Redding poses with his mini-bike ahead of this weekend's MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix