Sixth and seventh for Márquez and Espargaró on first day at Motegi

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Good start to the Japanese Grand Prix for Repsol Honda Team riders in the only Friday session.

Sixth and seventh for Márquez and Espargaró on first day at Motegi

A revised schedule due to the short turnover for logistical tasks between the Aragon Grand Prix and the Japanese Grand Prix meant that a single Free Practice session was held at Motegi on Sunday for the MotoGP riders. The premier class FP1 lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Marc Márquez completed 26 laps in a fully dry session. Spitting rain fell midway through the session but did not prevent the Repsol Honda Team rider from lowering his times, and he finished the day as the sixth fastest rider, with a best time of 1:44.656, just over 1 tenth off the best lap of the day.

Pol Espargaró was also able to take advantage of the 75-minute session, putting in 26 laps and improving his pace as FP1 progressed. He was seventh, with a fastest time of 1:44.678.

Rider Statements


“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.”


“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.”

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