MotoGP 2022
Round 19

Marquez Scores Hard-Fought Seventh In Malaysia

my Sepang International Circuit

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) rode to a hard-fought seventh-place finish at Sepang today, seven days after he took a super-close second place at last Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.

Marquez Scores Hard-Fought Seventh In Malaysia

Honda’s six-times MotoGP World Champion always knew that this racetrack would be a bigger challenge for him and his RC213V and he wasn’t wrong, even though he dazzled with his magic yesterday, qualifying third fastest in spectacular style. Marquez’s talent was enough to make the difference over a single lap but he knew that 20 race laps of the first Malaysian Grand Prix since 2019 would be a far greater challenge.

Nonetheless Marquez gave it his all as always, using another new aerodynamics update to his RC213V – four small winglets on the seat hump, designed to increase load and therefore rear grip for slightly better corner entry and exit performance. All this is part of Honda’s push to use the final few races to evaluate new developments for next year, when Marquez should be fully recovered from the surgery to his right arm which forced him to miss six races earlier this season.

Marquez got a great start from the front row of the grid to complete the first lap in fourth place. He stayed fourth for several laps, then found himself in a battle with several other riders. He started the final lap in sixth place, but lost that position to Japanese GP winner Jack Miller before they crossed the finish line.

Marquez was happy enough with his result, fully aware that he is still building strength in his right arm. The 29-year-old Spaniard now has one race of 2022 remaining – the Valencia Grand Prix two weeks from now – and then he can focus on a busy fitness regime, which should take him to the first race of 2023, in Portugal next March, at 100% strength and ready to fight for a seventh MotoGP crown.

Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) scored points for the fifth consecutive Grand Prix, bringing home lots of data and information for his Repsol Honda crew. The 31-year-old Spaniard finished in 14th position, just over two seconds behind the 11th place finisher and only four seconds outside the top ten. The former Moto2 World Champion had started from 20th on the grid, after a three-position penalty for a riding-conduct infringement during FP1, so he made good forward progress during the race.

Marquez’s younger brother Alex Marquez (LCR Honda CASTROL Honda RC213V) was given a long-lap penalty for an incident in the preceding Australian GP, which complicated his race. The 26-year-old Spaniard, who won the 2019 Moto2 World Championship here, therefore finished outside the points, in 17th position.

Conditions were slippery and tricky in the tropical heat this weekend, with many riders sliding off during practice, qualifying and the race. Honda MotoGP rider Tetsuta Nagashima (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V) fell at around one-quarter distance, his first DNF since he took over the RC213V machines of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V) at last month’s Thai GP.

Nakagami, who is recovering from surgery to fix right-hand injuries sustained during last month’s Aragon GP, will undergo medical tests in the next few days to decide whether he is fit enough to return to action at the Valencia season finale.

The MotoGP paddock now returns to Europe for the 20th and last race of the 2022 season at Valencia on 6th November.

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez 93
Repsol Honda Team
As I said yesterday, what we did in qualifying was above and beyond and this is more or less what I was expecting from our race. We gave our 100% all race to achieve the best possible result. We started really well but I saw I didn’t have the speed to stay with the leaders. I tried to find my place and avoid taking any unneeded risks and get some good information from the race. I did everything that Honda asked me so I am optimistic they will use this information to improve in the future. Now we can start to prepare for Valencia after a difficult weekend, because here we could see the level of our bike. I think we can be closer in Valencia.

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro 44
Repsol Honda Team
It was a hard one today, especially with the temperature. It was not as hot as in previous years but the humidity was really high all the same. We started in P20 and had to be aggressive in the first laps to make up some ground. Finally we were able to get two points here, gaining six places. Now the attention turns to Valencia where I have been strong in the past and I think it will suit our bike better.

Alex Marquez
Alex Marquez 73
It was a difficult Sunday, we knew before the race that in the dry it would be difficult for us and there are many, many problems with the bike. So there was not much we could do, also I had the long lap which made things harder. But I’m happy with myself as I know I gave 100% throughout the weekend and also I want to say thanks to the team as they’re still pushing a lot and helping me, so thanks to all the LCR Team. This is our reality, it’s where the bike is and we need to keep going. There is one [race] to go.

Tetsuta Nagashima
Tetsuta Nagashima 45
I want to say sorry to the team as I crashed during the race. I’m very disappointed as I didn’t feel too bad, I was just trying to follow Álex, but it was impossible. It was a mistake, but it only takes one mistake. I want to say thanks to the team for this opportunity, for sure it will help for the future. It’s been a very nice experience and a lot of fun, and if I have more chances next year I will come back stronger.

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