A strong first day for the Repsol Honda Team as MotoGP action returns to Australian soil with both Espargaro and Marquez finding speed from early on.

The doom and gloom weather of Wednesday and Thursday departed Phillip Island and sun shone more or less throughout the day, with just sporadic spits of rain falling between sessions. Wind was a persistent challenge for the premier class, picking up especially in the afternoon session.

Pol Espargaro was one of the biggest improvers between sessions as he found an incredible 1.6 seconds, ending the day in third place overall as a result. Although early in the weekend, the position does provide a welcome boost to Espargaro and his side of the Repsol Honda Team garage after several trying rounds. With the wind still presenting a challenge, the #44 was able to call on his years of experience to adjust his Honda to better suit the conditions and continue to build his speed. Espargaro’s 1’29.527 saw him within 0.1s of the fastest time and 0.25s ahead of Marquez.

It was a busy day for Marc Marquez as he tested a new aero package on his Honda RC213V. Initial feedback about the new package was positive and Marquez will continue to use it tomorrow. Even with these new parts to test, the eight-time World Champion frequently featured at the top of the timing tower in both practice sessions and still finished in a respectable sixth place overall. An end of day chat with six-time Australian MotoGP race-winner Casey Stoner could help Marquez find the crucial final tenths in the unbelievably close MotoGP field.

Weather will no doubt be an important factor in Saturday’s action as forecasts continue to remain mixed. Wet or dry, both Repsol Honda Team riders have a clear target to maintain their positions and continue to make improvements.

Pol Espargaro

Third 1'29.527

“I felt really good today and the bike was also working really, really well today. From the morning I felt like I was fast over one lap and with our overall pace and then it was just about finding the last step with the new tyre. When we put a new tyre in this afternoon, it all worked, and I was able to enjoy riding. I love this place, the track, the weather, the cold and with the wind making everything a bit more complicated, my experience helped a lot. I think this circuit suits our bike and the objective is to of course stay inside the top positions all weekend.”

Marc Marquez

Sixth 1'29.775

“It’s not easy to try things during a weekend, but I felt some positives with the new parts in the morning. Then in the afternoon we tried it again to confirm our findings, we used all our time to try these things and this is what you must do if you want to improve for the future. We can see that Honda is working, even with only three races left. I’ll keep using it tomorrow. Then we will see what is possible on Saturday and Sunday, the feeling on the bike is quite good and we can see that the potential is there. It’s great to be back at Phillip Island.”

MotoGP 2022
Practice Round 18   Australia

Australian Grand Prix Practice Results

Track Temp
Air Temp
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
Location Information

Phillip Island, the self-styled home of Australian motorsport, is steeped in motor racing tradition, with the first car races having been held there on public roads in the 1920s. The first motorcycle races took place in 1931 and a permanent track was built in 1956. The circuit fell into disrepair… read more.

Length 4.448 kilometres / 2.764 miles
Width 13 metres
Left corners 7
Right corners 5
Longest straight 0.900 kilometres / 0.559 miles
Constructed 1956
Modified 1988

Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Phillip Island, Ventnor, Victoria, Australia - View in Google Maps



Pole Position 1m 27.246s (183.5 km/h) Jorge Martin (Ducati, 2023)
Race Lap 1m 28.108s (181.7 km/h) Marc Marquez (Honda, 2013)
Race Time 40m 33.849s (177.6 km/h) Marc Marquez (Honda, 2015)
2023 Race Winner Johann Zarco (Ducati)