MotoGP: Marquez wins pole at wet Motegi

The heavens opened over the Mobility Resort Motegi and a pole position drought was also broken as Marc Marquez qualified fastest for the Motul Grand Prix of Japan.

After a 90-minute delay to the schedule, the recovering from injury Repsol Honda Team rider set a 1:55.214 in a wet MotoGP Q2 session to score a first pole since the 2019 Japanese GP.

Marc Marquez

Second went to Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing), while Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) made the front row for the first time in the premier class.

Although there was joy for eight-time World Champion Marquez, none of this year’s three title contenders qualified any higher than sixth. That was Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), with neither Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ Team) nor Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) making the first two rows.

It was worth the wait for the weather for Marc Marquez who demonstrated his unrivaled skills in the wet as he stormed Q2 to secure pole. It was at Motegi in 2019, 1071 days ago, that the #93 last started from pole position for a MotoGP race. The 1’55.214 lap in Q2 marks a significant moment in Marquez’s continued recovery and shows that he has lost none of his speed while injured. Marc was welcomed into Parc Ferme by Koji Watanabe, who is attending the Japanese Grand Prix for the first time at HRC President.

For the 91st time in his career and the 63rd occasion in the MotoGP class, Marquez will start with no one but the safety car in front of him for the Grand Prix. A positive Saturday has certainly provided a welcome boost in morale to Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team, but everyone involved are keeping expectations realistic for the 24-lap race. As in Aragon, the primary objective of the race is to work on improving the conditions of Marquez’s arm and further developing the Honda RC213V.

Marc Marquez

“Today is an amazing day, we must celebrate and enjoy it! I knew I could be fast in these conditions, and I had to take the maximum profit from it. It’s good to return to pole, to be on the front row at Honda’s home circuit – they deserve it because they are working very hard. Of course, it is just a pole position, and it is in the wet – but coming from where we are, it’s really important to get these smaller achievements. If it’s dry tomorrow, we will come back to our reality, but no matter what I am sure I will enjoy the first laps. I want to say thank you to HRC and to the Repsol Honda Team for continuing to support and believe in me, we are coming.”

Qualifying Results

1 Marc Marquez SPA Repsol Honda (RC213V) 1’55.214s
2 Johann Zarco FRA Pramac Ducati (GP22) +0.208s
3 Brad Binder RSA Red Bull KTM (RC16) +0.323s
4 Maverick Viñales SPA Aprilia Racing (RS-GP) +0.406s
5 Jorge Martin SPA Pramac Ducati (GP22) +0.472s
6 Aleix Espargaro SPA Aprilia Racing (RS-GP) +0.557s
7 Jack Miller AUS Ducati Lenovo (GP22) +0.570s
8 Miguel Oliveira POR Red Bull KTM (RC16) +0.681s
9 Fabio Quartararo FRA Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) +1.112s
10 Luca Marini ITA Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22) +1.140s
11 Pol Espargaro SPA Repsol Honda (RC213V) +2.140s
12 Francesco Bagnaia ITA Ducati Lenovo (GP22) +2.159s
Qualifying 1 Cutoff
13 Marco Bezzecchi ITA Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)* 1’55.934s
14 Franco Morbidelli ITA Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) 1’56.006s
15 Enea Bastianini ITA Gresini Ducati (GP21) 1’56.13s
16 Fabio Di Giannantonio ITA Gresini Ducati (GP21)* 1’56.432s
17 Alex Marquez SPA LCR Honda (RC213V) 1’56.578s
18 Alex Rins SPA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1’56.656s
19 Tetsuta Nagashima JPN HRC Team (RC213V) 1’57.229s
20 Remy Gardner AUS KTM Tech3 (RC16)* 1’57.288s
21 Takuya Tsuda JPN Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1’57.787s
22 Raul Fernandez SPA KTM Tech3 (RC16)* 1’57.827s
23 Cal Crutchlow GBR WithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1) 1’58.115s
24 Darryn Binder RSA WithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)* 1’58.292s
25 Takaaki Nakagami JPN LCR Honda (RC213V) 1’58.717s


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