Two weekends after he secured the 2019 MotoGP World Championship in Thailand, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) today scored his first-ever MotoGP pole position at Honda’s home race. This was his tenth pole of the year and his 90th across all three categories since he commenced his World Championship career in 2008.

The dazzling 26-year-old Spaniard ruled a thrilling qualifying session on a track that was still damp in places following rain both last night and this morning. It was yet another example of the youngster’s ability to get the absolute maximum from his RC213V whatever the conditions.

Neither did the rain bother the six-times MotoGP champion in either of today’s earlier practice sessions: he was a close second fastest in this morning’s soaking FP3 session and fastest in the damp FP4 outing.

Tomorrow – when Motegi is forecast to be blessed with dry weather – Marquez will do his best to help Honda achieve its 25th MotoGP Constructors World Championship. If Honda does secure the prestigious crown it will be the company’s 25th in total and its fourth in row with the amazing RC213V machine. Once again this performance underlines the excellent work done by Honda, HRC and the Repsol Honda team.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) also enjoyed a strong Saturday, topping the Q1 qualifying session to graduate to Q2 in which he excelled once again. The 33-year-old Briton looked like he might have a shot at the front row but was nonetheless happy with fifth fastest time, which puts him in the middle of the second row of the grid and capable of fighting for his first podium since July’s German Grand Prix. This was also the three-times MotoGP race winner’s best qualifying performance since April’s Grand Prix of the Americas.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) has had a difficult two days preparing for his home Grand Prix. The 27-year-old from Chiba missed Q1 by a fraction of a second and will therefore start from 13th.

Nakagami’s main problem this weekend is a worsening right-shoulder injury, initially incurred during June’s Dutch TT, when he was taken out by a rival. The injury is particularly troublesome here at Motegi, with several downhill braking zones.

Indeed the shoulder is so painful that the former Moto2 race winner will undergo surgery in Tokyo next week and miss the final three races of the year in order to fully complete his rehabilitation before 2020 preseason testing gets underway in February.

Marquez’s team-mate Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) continued his comeback from his own injury sustained at Assen in June. The three-times MotoGP World Champion missed four races before he was deemed fit to return and since then he has been steadily building his pace. This weekend he has tried different set-up options in an effort to further close the gap to the leaders. The 32-year-old Spaniard will start from 19th on the grid.

Tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix is the first event on three consecutive weekends, followed by the Australian and Malaysian GPs.

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez 93

First pole position on the MotoGP bike in Motegi is great, I didn't know it was the last track! It’s a circuit that I usually struggle at a bit but today the set-up was working very well in qualifying and I was able to ride in a different way. It's important to start on pole at the home of Honda. I felt very strong during Free Practice 4 but the conditions weren’t really normal. It was still a bit wet out on track. Tomorrow we will have a lot of pressure from Yamaha and [Andrea] Dovizioso, I think, so we still need to work a bit in warm-up. The target is to fight for the victory, let’s see what the conditions are.

Repsol Honda Team
Cal Crutchlow

Cal Crutchlow 35

It wasn’t too bad today. I didn’t have a great day yesterday so it’s good to turn it around. Conditions in qualifying were difficult because there was a lot of wet parts, so it’s never easy, because some turns were quite wet. I felt good and was able to push – I wanted it – I ran onto one wet patch and lost a few tenths but anyway I did my best and that was the second row and we will see what we’ve got tomorrow. Hopefully I can end the race standing on the podium!

LCR Honda
Takaaki Nakagami

Takaaki Nakagami 30

Of course I’m a little bit disappointed, because until the last moment I was in Q2 and I thought we make it, but this is the reality. I did the best I could. My performance is quite nice because I was really close to P1 in Q1 with Cal, so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. This weekend so far my shoulder is let’s say a bit of a disaster. This track layout does not help me, because there is a lot of long, hard braking, so after a few laps it’s difficult to hold onto the bike. I feel better in wet conditions less because it’s less stress. It will be tough in dry. But it’s my last race of season, so I will do my best and try to get into the top ten.

LCR Honda
Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo 99

A very tough day for me as I always find the mixed conditions difficult and there were still two points on track where there was a lot of water, so we had to be careful. I was losing a lot of time there and that’s why we were unable to repeat our speed from yesterday, which is unfortunate. Now we start 19th which is not ideal, but I am hopeful for good weather. If it is dry in warm-up and for the race, we can improve on the results of previous races.

Repsol Honda Team
Motul Grand Prix of Japan

Twin Ring Motegi, Japan

MotoGP 2019, Round 16

Cloudy / 21
Saturday 19 Oct 2019, 14:04 UTC
  • Track Condition: Dry
  • Air Temp: 21°C
  • Humidity: 96%
  • Ground Temp: 21°C
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Marc Marquez 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'45.763
2 Franco Morbidelli 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.132
3 Fabio Quartararo 20 FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.181
4 Maverick Viñales 12 SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha +0.327
5 Cal Crutchlow 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda +0.426
6 Jack Miller 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +0.574
7 Andrea Dovizioso 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati +0.647
8 Danilo Petrucci 9 ITA Ducati Team Ducati +0.664
9 Aleix Espargaro 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.795
10 Valentino Rossi 46 ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha +0.795
11 Alex Rins 42 SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.837
12 Joan Mir 36 SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.853
13 Takaaki Nakagami 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda +0.303
14 Francesco Bagnaia 63 ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +0.899
15 Pol Espargaro 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.959
16 Miguel Oliveira 88 POR KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM +1.199
17 Mika Kallio 82 FIN Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +1.284
18 Karel Abraham 17 CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +1.426
19 Jorge Lorenzo 99 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +1.797
20 Hafizh Syahrin 55 THA KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM +1.827
21 Sylvain Guintoli 50 FRA Suzuki Test Team Suzuki +2.491
22 Andrea Iannone 29 ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +2.548
23 Tito Rabat 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +2.394
Cloudy / 18
Friday 18 Oct 2019, 08:27 UTC
  • Track Condition: Dry
  • Air Temp: 18°C
  • Humidity: 73%
  • Ground Temp: 21°C
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Fabio Quartararo 20 FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1'44.764
2 Maverick Viñales 12 SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha +0.321
3 Marc Marquez 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.336
4 Andrea Dovizioso 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati +0.650
5 Valentino Rossi 46 ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha +0.702
6 Franco Morbidelli 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.798
7 Jack Miller 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +0.813
8 Danilo Petrucci 9 ITA Ducati Team Ducati +0.855
9 Joan Mir 36 SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.877
10 Aleix Espargaro 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.957
11 Alex Rins 42 SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.966
12 Cal Crutchlow 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda +1.040
13 Pol Espargaro 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +1.256
14 Francesco Bagnaia 63 ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +1.566
15 Takaaki Nakagami 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda +1.793
16 Karel Abraham 17 CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +1.812
17 Jorge Lorenzo 99 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +1.897
18 Andrea Iannone 29 ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +1.981
19 Miguel Oliveira 88 POR KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM +2.036
20 Sylvain Guintoli 50 FRA Suzuki Test Team Suzuki +2.039
21 Mika Kallio 82 FIN Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +2.134
22 Tito Rabat 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +2.394
23 Hafizh Syahrin 55 THA KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM +3.210
Rider Standings
Sunday, 6 Oct 2019 - Open world standings grid
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Marc MARQUEZ 93 SPA 325 Repsol Honda Team Honda
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO 4 ITA 215 Ducati Team Ducati
3 Alex RINS 42 SPA 167 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki
4 Maverick VIñALES 12 SPA 163 Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha
5 Danilo PETRUCCI 9 ITA 162 Ducati Team Ducati
6 Valentino ROSSI 46 ITA 145 Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha
7 Fabio QUARTARARO 20 FRA 143 Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha
8 Jack MILLER 43 AUS 119 Alma Pramac Racing Ducati
9 Cal CRUTCHLOW 35 GBR 102 LCR Honda Honda
10 Franco MORBIDELLI 21 ITA 90 Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha
11 Pol ESPARGARO 44 SPA 80 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
12 Takaaki NAKAGAMI 30 JPN 74 LCR Honda Honda
13 Joan MIR 36 SPA 58 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki
14 Aleix ESPARGARO 41 SPA 46 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
15 Francesco BAGNAIA 63 ITA 34 Alma Pramac Racing Ducati
16 Andrea IANNONE 29 ITA 33 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
17 Miguel OLIVEIRA 88 POR 29 KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM
18 Johann ZARCO 5 FRA 27 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
19 Jorge LORENZO 99 SPA 23 Repsol Honda Team Honda
20 Tito RABAT 53 SPA 18 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
21 Stefan BRADL 6 GER 16 Repsol Honda Team Honda
22 Michele PIRRO 51 ITA 9 Ducati Test Team Ducati
23 Hafizh SYAHRIN 55 THA 7 KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM
24 Sylvain GUINTOLI 50 FRA 7 Suzuki Test Team Suzuki
25 Karel ABRAHAM 17 CZE 5 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati