MotoGP 2022
Round 14

Alex Marquez In Misano Top Ten, Espargaro Out Of Luck

sm Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli

Honda’s top finisher in today’s San Marino Grand Prix was Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol Honda RC213V) who rode a determined race to finish tenth at sun-blessed Misano, the track situated just a few miles inland from Italy’s Riviera holiday beaches

Alex Marquez In Misano Top Ten, Espargaro Out Of Luck

The former Moto2 and Moto3 World Champion was happy enough with his result, which followed two challenging days of practice and qualifying, which had put him 16th on the grid for round 14 of the 20-race 2022 MotoGP World Championship.

Today the younger Marquez was watched by his older brother Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) who arrived here on Friday night and will make a much-anticipated return to MotoGP riding on Tuesday, at the start of an official two-day Misano test to be attended by all teams.

Marquez underwent a humeral osteotomy on his injured right arm in early June and returned to riding last week, twice testing with his Honda CBR600RR training bike to ensure the arm is in good shape. He will ride his RC213V on Tuesday and if that goes well he will also ride on Wednesday. So far there is no decision as to when Honda’s six-times MotoGP World Champion will return to racing.

Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) was Honda’s second-fastest qualifier yesterday and was looking forward to a strong race this afternoon but he only got as far as the first corner when Johann Zarco and Michele Pirro crashed, their fallen machines taking him out. Luckily the 31-year-old Spaniard wasn’t seriously hurt in the accident, sustaining a minor injury to a wrist. He should be able to take part in next week’s tests to learn more about the bike and try new parts and settings in readiness for the next race – the Aragon Grand Prix in Spain – on 18 September.

Honda’s official MotoGP test rider Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V), who was once again taking the place of Marc Marquez, had his best result of the year so far and scored his first points of the season, thanks to a fine ride. The 32-year-old German finished the race in 14th place, less than one second ahead of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V), who lost time avoiding the first-corner incident.

Nakagami also lost several positions when Zarco, Pirro and Espargaro fell, which left him with a lot of work to do during the remainder of the 27-lap race. He completed the first lap in 20th position, maintaining his focus to keep moving forward. The 30-year-old from Chiba is very much looking forwards to the Tuesday and Wednesday tests.

The next stop in the 2022 MotoGP World Championship is the Aragon GP, then riders and teams pack up and head eastwards for the Asian/Australian sector of the series. This starts at Twin Ring Motegi on 18 September, the first Japanese Grand Prix since 2019, then moves onto Thailand, Australia, and Malaysia, before the paddock returns to Europe for the season-ending Valencia GP in Spain, on 6 November.

Alex Márquez
Alex Márquez 73
That was our maximum pace today, I gave 100% and we were really consistent, it was a good weekend overall in our situation. The team gave 100% in every session and we felt good which, in our situation, is not always easy. I was trying to push and enjoy myself on the bike and a top-ten today was the maximum as I gave everything I had in the race and I was trying to survive and handle the tyres. I’m quite happy, we’re still a long way from the top, but we need to keep going and this result will help us to stay motivated.

Stefan Bradl
Stefan Bradl 6
Repsol Honda Team
It’s nice to return to the points, a little reward after all the work that we have done over the past races. It was a really physical race and I suffered a lot in the last few laps. There are still some areas we need to work on with the bike and the test will be important for this. Corner speed is the key thing we need to work on I think but I was able to stay with the other riders. Now we get ready for the test which is looking quite busy for us, a good rest tonight and prepare to go again.

Takaaki Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami 30
I had a good start, but into Turn One, just in front of me, there was a big crash [Michele Pirro and Johann Zarco]. I was lucky to avoid it but I lost some positions. Also, at the start of the race it was difficult to find confidence on the bike, I was struggling a lot and the feeling was really bad. In the second part of the race, I was able to push and had some grip and our lap times weren’t too bad, but it was too late then. This weekend was really tough, but we’ll stay positive and Tuesday and Wednesday we have an important test here. We’ll keep working, I’ll get some rest and will be ready for the test.

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro 44
Repsol Honda Team
I couldn’t tell exactly what happened at the start but it looks like Brad Binder was aggressive into the first corner and then made contact with Zarco who made contact with Pirro who made contact with me. This can happen on the first lap and I don’t think it was anything strange. Unfortunately, this is a consequence of starting this far back on the grid. We need to keep on working to improve our Saturday performance. The wrist should be OK to test and I really want to work on Tuesday and Wednesday because I want to get some things clear in my head without having to worry about the lap times.

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