MotoGP 2022
Round 17

Marquez Takes A Fighting Fifth Place In Wet Thai Grand Prix

th Chang International Circuit

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) continued his remarkable comeback from surgery by fighting through the pack to score a fine fifth place in today’s rain-affected Thai Grand Prix, less than three seconds behind the victor.

Marquez Takes A Fighting Fifth Place In Wet Thai Grand Prix

MotoGP was thrown a curveball this afternoon when torrential, thunderous downpours soaked the Chang International Circuit in the hours before the feature MotoGP race

The start was delayed by just under one hour and race distance reduced by one lap, from 26 to 25. All of the weekend’s previous MotoGP outings were in the dry, so riders had to quickly get up to speed in the treacherous conditions, with spray causing serious them vision problems.

Starting from eighth on the grid, Marquez decided to ease his way into the contest. After establishing himself in fourth by lap six, the 29-year-old Spaniard began pressuring Pecco Bagnaia for third place but couldn’t find a way past. As the race moved into its final stages he was unable to prevent Johann Zarco passing him and relegating him to fifth

Although Honda’s six-times MotoGP World Champion missed out on a 100th premier-class podium by less than a second he regarded this fifth place as another solid result, because his current priority is to regain fitness and strength, so he can build towards what he hopes will be a successful 2023 season.

There were other positives to take from this weekend, Marquez’s third since his comeback at the Aragon GP two weeks ago, following a four-month layoff. It was obvious to everyone watching that he now feels he can once again push his Honda RC213V to its limits in dry conditions, saving front-end slides, which he couldn’t do before the fourth operation on his upper right arm, which he had in early June.

Marquez now returns to Spain to continue his rehabilitation with his physiotherapists with the aim of coming back even stronger at the Australian GP a fortnight from now.

Three places further back his younger brother Alex Marquez (LCR Honda CASTROL Honda RC213V) who enjoyed one of his strongest rides of the season, finishing eighth for his second-best result of 2022. The 26-year-old Spaniard was in formidable form in the first half of the race, gaining an impressive six places on the first lap and a further four on the second!

By lap seven the younger Marquez was fighting inside the top six and threatening to close in on the podium contenders. But as the track began drying towards the end he lost some grip and dropped back to eighth. Still, this showcased the Spaniard’s speed as he collected a fourth top-ten finish of the year and his fifth consecutive points score.

After enduring a difficult Saturday in dry conditions, Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) was able to recover six places today to finish a solid 14th. The 31-year-old Spaniard still lacked some edge grip in the very wet conditions and couldn’t quite make the progress he desired. This was the tenth occasion the 2013 Moto2 World Champion has scored points during 2022.

Tetsuta Nagashima (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V) performed commendably well in his second MotoGP race – and his first in the wet – avoiding mistakes on the slippery track to finish 22nd. The 30-year-old from Kanagawa made his MotoGP debut as a Wild Card rider last week at Motegi. Today he took the place of MotoGP regular Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V), who has undergone surgery on a right-hand injury sustained at last month’s Aragon GP.

After a run of three consecutive race weekends, Honda’s four MotoGP riders have ten days to rest ahead of the Australian GP and then the Malaysian GP, which take place on back-to-back weekends on 16th and 23rd October. The 2022 season concludes at Valencia, Spain, on 6th November.

Marc Márquez
Marc Márquez 93
Repsol Honda Team
I am happy with the race overall. I was again able to do a solid race – avoiding mistakes and staying calm at the start. Wet races are always very long so you need to be careful. Then I was feeling better and I gained time on the group ahead but it was impossible to overtake Bagnaia. The acceleration of the Ducati is very strong. We keep on working and trying to improve everything. It has been a good weekend where we were competitive in the wet and in the dry. Now we have a week off to recover a bit and keep on training to be strong for the final three races of the year.

Alex Márquez
Alex Márquez 73
We were really lucky because it started to rain during the Moto2 race. We knew at that moment we had an opportunity to do a good job and we did that. In the first few laps I was feeling really good, unfortunately the rain didn’t continue, because on a wet track we were really, really fast and I felt comfortable. As the track started to dry out I suffered a lot and the race was a little bit too long. I’m happy for the team for this result, and we’ll keep going. We have three races to go and need to keep believing we can make a good result. A big thank you to all of them.

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro 44
Repsol Honda Team
It was a long and tricky race in the wet. It’s clear the Honda has more potential in the wet because you can see what Marc is doing. He’s maybe riding in a different way but I am still struggling a lot with edge grip. We were able to make up some places in the wet and score some more points, but this is not what I am aiming for and we need to improve for the final races.

Tetsuta Nagashima
Tetsuta Nagashima 45
First of all, I want to say thanks to the team as they did a very good job this weekend and I was very happy working with them. Today was my first time riding a MotoGP bike in wet conditions and it was difficult, but I learned a lot and it was a good experience. In the last part of the race my pace wasn’t bad and I had a good feeling. Let’s see what happens next – I’m happy and would also be happy to ride in the next race.

Published on