Lap times tumbled throughout a completely dry day at the Sepang International Circuit, both Marc Marquez and Joan Mir missing out on spots in the combined top ten as they finished 15th and 16th respectively.

Hot and hard work began from the moment pit lane opened in the morning for the Repsol Honda Team as the ambient temperature sat above 30°C all day. As is always the case in Malaysia, there was a constant fear of afternoon rain, and the majority of teams and riders adjusted their plans to avoid any wet heartbreak. Without any rain falling, the battle for a pre-qualifying lap time would go down to the wire.

Marc Marquez was one of the first to strike in the afternoon session after a busy morning, moving into the top three almost immediately. Dropping under the 2’00 for the first time of the weekend, the #93 continued to work through his and the team’s plan for the day until the final ten minutes of the afternoon. Returning to attack mode for this last blitz, Marquez did his best to hold on to his position in the top ten. Taking 15th with a best time of 1’58.788, the eight-time World Champion will head for Q1 tomorrow. In 2022, Marquez secured third on the grid after passing through Q1, but the eight-time World Champion is the first to state a repetition of this will be difficult.

The Repsol Honda Team machine of Joan Mir was also in the running for the combined top ten in Sepang before ultimately ending one place behind his teammate with a best time of 1’58.902. Working with his Honda RC213V, the #36 aimed to improve his feeling with the bike and made gradual progress over the course of the day. Tucking in behind his teammate and Jorge Martin at the end of the afternoon session, Mir made a final attempt to improve into the top ten but would be unable to make any major gains.

Marc Marquez

15th 1'58.788

“At some tracks we have the one lap speed and not the pace, but here it is the opposite, and our pace is quite good, but the one lap speed is not there. It was a day that we were expecting, so it is not a big surprise. I started both sessions well but couldn’t find that extra bit when we switched to the time attack. Qualifying will be very important, with two races starts this year, so I will keep giving my 100% to see what’s possible in Q1.”

Joan Mir

16th 1'58.902

“It’s a pretty similar Friday to what we have had throughout the year honestly. It’s difficult to make big steps here, the grip changed a lot here over the course of the day and I felt pretty good with the second and third tyres we used in the afternoon. Tomorrow we will keep trying to improve and giving our all, hopefully we can be close to the spots moving into Q2. It will be important to see what the weather does as well.”

MotoGP 2023
Practice Round 18   Malaysia

Friday Practice - Malaysian Grand Prix

Track Temp
Air Temp
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Marquez Alex 73 SPA Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1'57.823
2 Martin Jorge 89 SPA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.174
3 Miller Jack 43 AUS Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.409
4 Binder Brad 33 RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.484
5 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA Aprilia Racing Aprilia 0.489
6 Marini Luca 10 ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 0.511
7 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.576
8 Bagnaia Francesco 1 ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.597
9 Bezzecchi Marco 72 ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 0.627
10 Zarco Johann 5 FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.664
11 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.748
12 Bastianini Enea 23 ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.782
13 Fernandez Augusto 37 SPA Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing KTM 0.855
14 Di Giannantonio Fabio 49 ITA Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 0.886
15 Marquez Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.965
16 Mir Joan 36 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1.079
17 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing KTM 1.151
18 Fernandez Raul 25 SPA RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia 1.201
19 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia 1.327
20 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1.903
21 Nakagami Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 1.932
22 Bautista Alvaro 19 SPA Ducati Test Team Ducati 2.547
23 Lecuona Iker 27 SPA LCR Honda Honda 2.628
Location Information

Specifically built for speed and exciting racing, the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia is one of the world’s best. The 2,300 acre complex cost around £50m to construct and was built in just 14 months, holding its first Grand Prix in April 1999 and setting the standard for race circuits… read more.

Length 5.543 kilometres / 3.444 miles
Width 25 metres
Left corners 5
Right corners 10
Longest straight 0.920 kilometres / 0.572 miles
Constructed 1998

Sepang International Circuit Klia Pahang Malaysia - View in Google Maps


Pole Position 1m 57.491s (169.8km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2023)
Race Lap 1m 58.979s (167.7km/h) Alex Marquez (Ducati, 2023)
2023 Race Winner Enea Bastianini (Ducati)
2023 Sprint Winner Alex Marquez (Ducati)