MotoGP 2022
Round 13

Alex Marquez Charges From Back Of Grid Into The Points

at Red Bull Ring - Spielberg

Alex Marquez (LCR Honda CASTROL Honda RC213V) was Honda’s top finisher in today’s Austrian Grand Prix at the high-speed Red Bull Ring.

Alex Marquez Charges From Back Of Grid Into The Points

The former Moto2 and Moto3 World Champion’s strong comeback ride followed a remarkable Moto2 race, in which Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) and team-mate Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) rode to an historic one-two result. 

Marquez’s race made amends for a tumble during yesterday afternoon’s Q1 qualifying session, which prevented him from setting a fast lap, so he had to start the race from the back row of the grid, in 25th place. 

The 26-year-old Spaniard kept his head for the race, remaining cool and calm in the run-up to the start, already plotting ways to make forward progress once the race began. This is a fast circuit, with several slow corners following fast straights, so there are ample opportunities for overtaking and the youngster made the most of them 

At the end of the first lap Marquez found himself in 20th place. From there he kept pushing forward, around this popular circuit nestled in the Styrian Alps, where 92,000 fans turned up to watch the race-day action. He made it into the points just before half-distance and grabbed 14th place from a rival on the very last lap. 

Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) missed a points-scoring finish by just over one second, taking the chequered flag in 16th place. The 30-year-old Spaniard started from 15th on the grid, alongside 14th-fastest Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V). 

During the race Espargaro had some issues with arm pump and also with rear traction exiting corners. Because Red Bull Ring features so much fierce acceleration from low-speed corners riders are given different tyres for this event, with a harder casing and therefore slightly less drive grip. 

Red Bull Ring is also MotoGP’s heaviest braking circuit, which can cause front tyres to overheat, especially when riders find themselves in the pack, behind several other motorcycles, all radiating massive heat. 

This is the situation in which Nakagami found himself. His front tyre overheated and the pressure increased, which changed the profile and thus reduced grip. The 30-year-old from Chiba was trying to manage the situation and bring home some points when he lost the front while braking into Turn Seven on lap ten. The former Moto2 race winner was unhurt in the fall and will be out to make amends at the next race. 

Honda’s MotoGP test rider Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V), who is substituting for Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V), finished the race in 17th, a few seconds behind Espargaro. The 32-year-old German will take everything he learned from this weekend and use it to help improve the performance of the current RC213V. 

MotoGP now has two races remaining in Europe – the San Marino and Aragon GPs – before riders and teams fly east to Japan, for the first Japanese GP since 2019, at Twin Ring Motegi, north of Tokyo.

Alex Márquez
Alex Márquez 73
It was a long race, fighting from the back. I got a good start and a good first corner, so I was able to push hard from beginning, doing my lap times from practice, no more and no less. I was just trying to be there and saving the tyres to the end. I’m not happy with the result but I’m happy with the work we’ve done. We had a really difficult Saturday and today we managed to save it more or less, so we need to keep going and keep improving. 

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro 44
Repsol Honda Team
Today we had a very difficult race honestly, we struggled with traction and stopping the bike and also a bit of arm pump. All of these issues contribute to not riding in the best way and this was the result today. We need to keep our spirit up and focus on our work. Misano next week is a very different circuit so I hope that we can enjoy the weekend like we did there last year. There’s still many races left this year so we have to persist. 

Stefan Bradl
Stefan Bradl 6
Repsol Honda Team
It was an average race for us, I didn’t make the best start, but I recovered a bit in the following laps. I am happy with what we did on track, but the final result is pretty frustrating at the moment, but this just shows we need to keep working. We are looking forward to the future working for that and learning what we can in the moment. It’s been a tough weekend, but we need to keep on going. 

Takaaki Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami 30
That was a tough race – I didn’t get a good start and dropped some positions, so then I was behind some other bikes and had some trouble with my front tyre pressure increasing. The feeling wasn’t good and it was really difficult to stop the bike. The feeling of the whole bike was totally different and I wasn’t able to adapt, so I lost the front at the entry to Turn Seven and my race was over. I’m really disappointed and I apologised to my team. But no injuries, so let’s continue pushing for the next race at Misano. 

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