|Japanese MotoGP, Motegi – Free Practice (1) Results|
|1||Jack Miller||AUS||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||1’44.509s||25/28||311k|
|2||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||+0.028s||24/26||313k|
|3||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+0.049s||28/30||310k|
|4||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS GP)||+0.068s||25/26||310k|
|5||Luca Marini||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)||+0.136s||26/27||312k|
|6||Marc Marquez||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||+0.147s||23/26||311k|
|7||Pol Espargaro||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||+0.169s||24/26||312k|
|8||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+0.226s||29/30||311k|
|9||Miguel Oliveira||pore||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+0.234s||27/28||310k|
|10||Maverick Vinales||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS GP)||+0.288s||24/25||311k|
|11||Johann Zarco||FRA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||+0.289s||24/25||314k|
|12||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+0.377s||26/28||307k|
|13||Alex Rins||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+0.404s||27/31||309k|
|14||Enea Bastianini||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)||+0.469s||19/24||312k|
|15||Jorge Martin||SPA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||+0.500s||26/28||313k|
|16||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+0.556s||24/28||306k|
|17||Cal Crutchlow||GBR||With U Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)||+0.678s||23/27||308k|
|18||Darryn Binder||RSA||With U Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*||+0.857s||27/30||307k|
|19||Marco Bezzecchi||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*||+0.917s||27/29||312k|
|20||Alex Marquez||SPA||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+1.091s||29/30||309k|
|21||Raul Fernandez||SPA||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||+1.230s||25/27||309k|
|22||Tetsuta Nagashima||JPN||HRC Team (RC213V)||+1.336s||22/24||304k|
|23||Remy Gardner||AUS||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||+1.482s||25/27||308k|
|24||Fabio Di Giannantonio||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)*||+1.856s||17/24||311k|
|25||Takuya Tsuda||JPN||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+2.209s||22/22||304k|
Official Motegi MotoGP Records:
Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha 1m 43,790s (2022)
Fastest race lap:
Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha 1m 45.350s (2014)
Jack Miller leads factory Ducati teammate and title contender Francesco Bagnaia in the only extended Friday practice for Japanese MotoGP on a dry but cloudy Motegi.
To ensure the cargo from last weekend’s Aragon round could arrive, Friday’s MotoGP action – the first official premier class to run at Motegi since 2019 – was limited to a single extended 15:05 session. 16:20.
But rain poses a threat all weekend, with drops falling during the previous Moto2 session, heightening the sense of urgency to set a fast lap time.
Reigning champion Fabio Quartararo, now just 10 points clear of Bagnaia after the first-lap disaster in Aragon, was still bandaged as he took his Monster Yamaha to the top of the timesheets on lap 10 ahead of Miller .
The Frenchman remained at the top when rain flags started to wave with 45 minutes to go, but luckily, as with the previous Moto2 and Moto3 sessions, the moisture cleared quickly.
Quartararo, second to Marquez in his only previous (2019) Motegi MotoGP race appearance, kept control on medium tires until Alex Rins – with a pair of new ‘rabbit ear’-style rear wings – fitted new soft rubber and reminded Suzuki of what they did. throw away at the end of this season by putting the GSX-RR fastest.
— Team Suzuki Ecstar (@suzukimotogp) September 23, 2022
Johann Zarco followed suit with a new soft rear end to put his Pramac Ducati in P1, while HRC wildcard Tetsuta Nagashima became the first descender of the day in the deep gravel at the end of the back straight.
Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro gave Zarco a short elbow from first place, while Quartararo launched his soft tire attack with 20 minutes to go. But it was Aragon winner Enea Bastianini who headed the #20 as the final ten minutes approached, when Rins slammed into the front again.
Factory Ducati’s Miller then charged 0.404 seconds clear with 4 minutes to go, before Marc Marquez – again using the Kalex-built aluminum swingarm – put his Repsol Honda in second.
Despite being only 0.147s from Miller, Marquez was pushed to sixth at the end of the session with Francesco Bagnaia, Quartararo, Aleix Espargaro and Luca Marini all jammed in between!
Bastianini crashed into Turn 5 in the closing minutes, ending his challenge on Friday and watching him helplessly as he was pushed out of the top ten.
The Italian wasn’t alone in the gravel with Zarco then tumbling in Turn 7 and top rookie Darryn Binder in Turn 5, showing more yellow flags.
Pol Espargaro enjoyed one of his best runs recently with seventh place, while Miguel Oliveira (KTM) finished third on his way to ninth in the closing stages – Aragon star Brad Binder regained the top KTM finish in the closing minutes honour.
Wet weather is forecast for Saturday, meaning today’s results could determine the top ten riders with direct access to Qualifying 2. If so, Zarco, Rins and Takaaki Nakagami (visible in pain from his injured right hand) will join Bastianini in qualifying 1.
HRC wildcard Nagashima, who made his MotoGP debut this weekend and was flagged as one to watch by Cal Crutchlow after testing with the Japanese at the same track in July, eventually finished 22nd (+1.3 seconds ).
Suzuki test rider Takuya Tsuda, replacing Joan Mir, was 25th and last.
Just 17 points cover Fabio Quartararo, Francesco Bagnaia and Aleix Espargaro at the top of the MotoGP World Championship, as the series heads into the unknown with its first Asian and Australian races since 2019.
Quartararo’s first lap accident with Marc Marquez at Aragon, combined with Bagnaia’s second place behind Enea Bastianini, has put the factory Ducati star just 10 points behind the Monster Yamaha rider, with Aprilia’s Espargaro also back in the hunt for the third place.
Home player Takaaki Nakagami is fit to drive, despite having to undergo surgery for injuries to his fingers during last Sunday’s clash with Marquez in Aragon.
The tight travel window to move cargo from Aragon to Motegi means a revised practice schedule in Japan, with a delayed and extended opening practice from 15:05-16:20 on Friday. Free Practice 2 is rescheduled for Saturday morning and now closes for direct access to Qualifying 2. FP3 is reduced to 30 minutes (replacing the usual FP4), followed by Qual 1 and Qualifying 2.
Motegi’s absence from the calendar in both 2020 and 2021, due to Covid restrictions, means that ten of the full-time drivers have never raced on the premier class track: Brad Binder, Alex Marquez, Jorge Martin, Enea Bastianini, Luca Marini, plus this year’s rookies Marco Bezzecchi, Fabio di Giannantonio, Darryn Binder, Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez.
This weekend will also see Suzuki test rider Takuya Tsuda and Honda test rider Tetsuta Nagashima on the track. Both have been entered as wildcards for their home fans this weekend, although Tsuda will now technically replace the injured Joan Mir.
Following the retirement of Andrea Dovizioso, Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow will begin his second weekend at RNF, where he will complete the season alongside Darryn Binder. Unlike most of the grid, Crutchlow has some private testing experience at Motegi this year.
Japanese MotoGP – Full Race Weekend Schedule (UK Time)
Friday September 23
05:15 – 05:55 Moto3 FP1
06:10 – 06:50 Moto2 FP1
07:05 – 08:20 MotoGP FP1
Saturday September 24
01:00 – 01:40 Moto3 FP2
01:55 – 02:35 Moto2 FP2
02:50 – 03:35 MotoGP FP2
04:35 – 04:50 Moto3 Q1
05:00 – 05:15 Moto3 Q2
05:30 – 05:45 Moto2 Q1
05:55 – 06:10 Moto2 Q2
06:25 – 06:55 MotoGP FP3
07:05 – 07:20 MotoGP Q1
07:30 – 07:45 MotoGP Q2
Sunday 25 September
02:00 – 02:10 Moto3 Warm-up
02:20 – 02:30 Moto2 Warm-up
02:40 – 03:00 MotoGP warm-up
04:00 Moto3 race
05:20 Moto2 race
07:00 MotoGP race
|Aragon: MotoGP World Championship standings|
|1||=||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||211|
|2||=||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||201||(-10)|
|3||=||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS GP)||194||(-17)|
|4||=||Enea Bastianini||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)||163||(-48)|
|5||^1||Jack Miller||AUS||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||134||(-77)|
|6||˅1||Johann Zarco||FRA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||133||(-78)|
|7||=||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||128||(-83)|
|8||^1||Alex Rins||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||108||(-103)|
|9||^1||Jorge Martin||SPA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||104||(-107)|
|10||˅2||Maverick Vinales||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS GP)||104||(-107)|
|11||=||Miguel Oliveira||pore||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||95||(-116)|
|12||=||Luca Marini||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)||91||(-120)|
|13||=||Joan Miro||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||77||(-134)|
|14||=||Marco Bezzecchi||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*||74||(-137)|
|15||=||Marc Marquez||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||60||(-151)|
|16||=||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda (RC213V)||46||(-165)|
|17||=||Pol Espargaro||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||43||(-168)|
|18||=||Alex Marquez||SPA||LCR Honda (RC213V)||39||(-172)|
|19||=||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||26||(-185)|
|20||=||Fabio di Giannantonio||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)*||23||(-188)|
|21||=||Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||With U Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)||15||(-196)|
|22||=||Darryn Binder||RSA||With U Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*||10||(-201)|
|23||=||Remy Gardner||AUS||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||9||(-202)|
|24||=||Raul Fernandez||SPA||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||8||(-203)|
|25||=||Stefan Bradli||GER||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||2||(-209)|
|26||AFTER||Cal Crutchlow||GBR||With U Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)||2||(-209)|