In a race held on a dry track - for the first time all weekend - and under threatening clouds, Marc Márquez and Pol Espargaró finished a difficult weekend in the Top 10.
Márquez, who dropped two positions off the start, finished sixth. He had to fight first with his teammate, then with his brother Álex, exchanging overtaking moves until the last lap.
Espargaró had a good start, overtaking another rider and moving ahead of his teammate. After a duel between the two, he was unable to follow in Márquez' wake, and contact with Bagnaia made him lose a position and cross the finish line in ninth place.
After the first five races of the season, Márquez is eleventh and Espargaró twelfth in the MotoGP World Championship, which now moves to the Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto for the Spanish Grand Prix.
"It’s not the result we want or want to be fighting for but today we did not have the feeling. Already in Warm Up I was not feeling how I wanted, and we made a small change for the race which helped a bit but the speed of our rivals was more than we had. We were there fighting with Pol in the start of the race and then Alex in the second half, it was an all-Honda battle really. Within this battle we were able to come out on top which was a positive but it’s true this is not where we should be. We need to be faster, in Jerez it’s time to be faster and finish closer to the front."
"We are not satisfied with how the race went; we did not have the speed today. It’s time to understand more why this situation is happening because during the pre-season we were strong. Jerez is a good place to turn this situation around and I am pleased we can go there straight away to keep working. Already there are some ideas to change the situation in Jerez so I hope the weather will be good there. We must keep working, we must work harder than our rivals to overcome these problems. Fortunately, we have amazing engineers in Japan and a great team here at the track to work with."