MotoGP 2022
Round 18

Marquez Scores Brilliant 100th MotoGP Podium

au Phillip Island

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) scored one of the most significant podiums of his career at Phillip Island today – his first since major surgery earlier this season and the 100th since he graduated to the premier-class in 2013.

Marquez Scores Brilliant 100th MotoGP Podium

The race was another thriller at this fast and flowing racetrack which encourages close racing and overtaking. Marquez started from a strong second place on the grid and was in the fight for victory throughout, spending the early laps in second, then battling back and forth with several rivals as the racing intensified in the final laps. 

At the chequered flag of the first Australian Grand Prix since 2019 he was just 0.186 seconds behind the winner, proof that the 29-year-old Spaniard and his Honda RC213V are returning to their best. The top seven riders at the finish were covered by less than a second, with the top ten separated by 5.940 seconds, the second-closest premier-class top ten in seven decades of the MotoGP World Championship. 

Untroubled by a low-speed fall in this morning’s rain-affected warm-up session, Marquez was the only rider to choose a hard/soft tyre combination for the race. His speed all the way to the finish illustrated his ability to ride at front-running speed, while using smooth throttle control to save his rear tyre for the vital final laps. 

Marquez was overjoyed to be back where he belongs – fighting for victory – and showed his delight on the podium, throwing his racing boots to the fans in the podium crowd. At the moment Honda’s six-times MotoGP World Champion is just happy to be competitive, because he is still building strength and fitness after undergoing a fourth surgery to the upper right arm he broke at the start of the 2020 season. This was his first podium since he won last year’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, ahead of team-mate Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V). 

Honda are also building strength, equipping Marquez with an aerodynamic update for this Grand Prix. Together they are working together to find the speed they need to fight for the 2023 MotoGP World Championship. 

Espargaro led the second group to come home in 11th place, only 11 seconds behind the winner. The 31-year-old Spaniard rode strongly to work his way through from the fifth row of the grid after a complicated outing in qualifying yesterday. 

Alex Marquez (LCR Honda CASTROL Honda RC213V) had a great weekend in Australia, until the ninth lap of the 27-lap race. The 26-year-old Spaniard was up with the fastest riders during practice and qualified on the fourth row. 

In the race the former Moto2 and Moto3 World Championship was in the midst of the lead group, going for his best result of the year, with riders separated by centimetres rather than metres. On lap nine he was trying to attack rivals entering the Turn Four hairpin but ran out of room, colliding with local Jack Miller. The pair took a heavy tumble but were uninjured. 

Honda MotoGP test rider Tetsuta Nagashima (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V), who replaced the injured Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V) for the second race in a row, finished 19th. The 30-year-old from Kanagawa, contesting only his third MotoGP race, made steady progress through the weekend and will find out soon if he will again ride Nakagami’s bikes in next weekend’s Malaysian GP. 

Nakagami is due to undergo a medical check in the next few days which will determine whether he is well enough recovered from the right-hand injury he sustained at last month’s Aragon GP to ride at Sepang, 

Malaysia’s MotoGP round is the penultimate race of the 2022 season, which has its finale at Valencia, Spain, on 6th November.

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez 93
Repsol Honda Team
It was a great race today; I really enjoyed the battle a lot and the feeling of returning to the podium is fantastic. It has been a long journey and we have reached the next stage. The soft rear was certainly the correct option for us in the race, I felt quite good, and I was able to fight until the end. At the start I was managing the situation a little bit, but I really enjoyed the race, I tried to win! Alex Rins did really well in the last few laps. I left everything out on track today and I really enjoyed all the overtakes, especially at Turn 2 because the bike was working really well there. We are coming better but there is still work to do. It’s great to achieve this milestone of 100 premier class podiums and an honour to draw equal with [Angel] Nieto but we are not done yet! 

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro 44
Repsol Honda Team
Our race today was quite similar to the last races; we were playing catch-up a lot during the race. We were probably a bit closer to the front this race than in the previous ones, but the pace of the race overall was slower than we thought it would be. Again, starting so far back on the grid makes it really hard and especially at a circuit like Phillip Island – there’s a lot of turbulence and the opening laps you have to be really precise. We started the weekend well here, so we can see that there is some potential there but missing out on Q2 really hurt us. Two races left in the season; we keep on going. 

Tetsuta Nagashima
Tetsuta Nagashima 45
Today was a tough day as it was the first time riding with the [MotoGP] group at a fast track like this. It was difficult, but overall this weekend we made a step forward. I couldn’t follow the group, but I learned a lot and tried lots of things during the race. In the end I had a good battle with Fabio [Di Giannantonio]. I followed him and learned some things and finally beat him which was quite good. I want to say thanks to the team, they were a great help to me and gave me a good bike. Overall I’m really happy. 

Alex Marquez
Alex Marquez 73
The first thing I want to say is sorry to Jack because I hit him. I locked the rear. It was my mistake. We can say that this is racing and these things can happen, but I’m really sorry for him and all his team. Specially being his home GP. Apart from that, we had a really positive weekend overall and it was a shame about the crash in the race because I was feeling really good in the group, trying to fight and go forward as I had the pace to do a really good job. But we have a new opportunity next week and I will try hard to be on the pace again. 

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