The Japanese and Honda fans provided a welcome boost as Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro powered into the top ten on a unique Friday in Motegi.

A busy Thursday saw the Repsol Honda Team work diligently to prepare everything just a few days after action concluded in Aragon. Due to the schedule of the events, just a single afternoon Free Practice 1 session of 75 minutes awaited the Repsol Honda Team on the opening day of the Japanese Grand Prix. Despite near constant threats of rain throughout the day, the track remained dry for the entirety of the extra-long session.

Returning to the circuit in which he has claimed three of his six premier class titles, Marc Marquez was immediately on the pace. Ending Friday in sixth with a best time of 1’44.656 provided positive reinforcement that both Marquez himself and the RC213V are making steps in the right direction since his recent return to competition. There was no relenting for the #93 who immediately went about setting a quick lap time to beat Saturday’s looming weather. With 75 minutes of track time, Marquez was also able to continue assessing his right arm in more intense scenarios.

After several difficult races, Pol Espargaro’s Grand Prix weekend started on the correct foot as he ended Friday seventh fastest. 0.022s back from his teammate and within 0.2s of the fastest time, the #44 was able to continually improve the setup of his RC213V over the course of the session. The 4.8-kilometre-long track had Espargaro return to his early season form of consistently running in the top ten as the RC213V immediately gelled with its home circuit. An evening of deep analysis for Espargaro and his team is scheduled as they aim to take the data gathered today and apply it to all remaining races.

Both riders’ performance on Friday puts the Repsol Honda Team pair in a strong position to advance directly into Q2 with heavy rain predicted on Saturday morning. Saturday’s schedule begins with Free Practice 2 at 10:50 Local Time with Free Practice 3 becoming the untimed session just ahead of Qualifying.

Marc Marquez

Sixth 1'44.656

“From when I first went out I was feeling quite good. It seems the areas where we are usually suffering a bit and less here and we can manage everything. Today I went full attack because there was just one session and I knew it might rain tomorrow so getting into the top ten was important. Let’s see what happens tomorrow but I am hoping for rain honestly because then we are already in the top ten. I am feeling very good with the new tyre, but also my feeling with the old tyre is quite good.”

Pol Espargaro

Seventh 1'44.678

“I am quite surprised because with the medium at other tracks, we were suffering a lot but here we are able to take a lot of profit from it. Everything worked really well with a lot of edge grip and traction and I was able to ride how I want. Today has been very good and with the weather that is predicted for the rest of the weekend, I think we can keep this speed up. It is a really nice boost to be back to feeling competitive again, and to do it in front of Honda’s home fans is even better. Let’s analyse everything well and come back ready tomorrow.”

MotoGP 2022
Practice Round 16   Japan

Japanese Grand Prix Practice Results

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

Located amongst the vast natural beauty of the northern Kanto district, the twin ring circuit at Motegi in Japan consists of a 1.5 mile oval and a 2.9 mile road course constructed to international standards. Built by Honda as the ultimate test facility in August 1997, the road circuit became… read more.

Length 4.801 kilometres / 2.983 miles
Width 15 metres
Left corners 6
Right corners 8
Longest straight 0.762 kilometres / 0.473 miles
Constructed 1997

Twin Ring Motegi, Haga District, Tochigi, Japan - View in Google Maps


Pole Position 1m 43.198s (167.4km/h) Jorge Martin (Ducati, 2023)
Race Lap 1m 45.198s (164.2km/h) Jack Miller (Ducati, 2022)
Race Time 42m 21.259s (163.2km/h) Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha, 2014)
2023 Sprint Winner Jorge Martin (Ducati)
2023 Race Winner Jorge Martin (Ducati)