MotoGP 2023
Round 14

Mir leads the way for the Repsol Honda Team at home

jp Mobility Resort Motegi

Joan Mir and Marc Marquez both posted steady improvements over Friday in front of the home Japanese crowd, ending in 12th and 14th respectively.

Mir leads the way for the Repsol Honda Team at home

A harsh sun beat down on the 4.8 kilometres of Mobility Resort Motegi as the Japanese Grand Prix got underway. Two sessions of practice saw the MotoGP field continually improve their times, the 2015 lap record falling during the afternoon.

Joan Mir entered the weekend looking to continue his form from India once again fight at the front of the field. Starting the morning well, the #36 assessed several items for HRC as he decided his direction for the weekend. A fall at Turn 5 during first practice saw Mir walk away unharmed, returning to the garage and heading back out on track after just a handful of minutes lost. Ultimately ending in 12th with a best time of 1’44.428 and having to do battle in Q1 on Saturday afternoon. Improving braking will be the double World Champion’s primary focus for Saturday before the action ramps up in Qualifying and the Sprint race.

On the other side of the Repsol Honda Team garage, Marc Marquez was able to show similarly consistent pace as he spent the day in and around the top ten. Confident in his outright speed at the Japanese GP, Marquez was left just outside the top ten when the day came to a close after yellow flags and a crash at Turn 1 ended his afternoon. 14th at the end of Friday with a best time of 1’44.574, Marquez ended 0.3s from a spot in Q2.

Some forecasts are calling for a 60% chance of rain on Saturday and lower temperatures than those experienced today, the change in weather another factor in deciding what will happen in Qualifying and the Sprint Race. It was in the wet that in 2022, Marc Marquez took pole for the Japanese GP and ended a 1,071-day drought of pole positions.

Joan Mir
Joan Mir 36
Repsol Honda Team
The crash we had this morning was not a big one but it complicated things a little bit. We were trying a few things with the bike I crashed on. In the afternoon we started with the bike we had in India, but I spent some of the session trying the bikes instead of working hard on a specific setup. I think we lost a bit here and this is why we aren’t in Q2 but still we were close. I think we need to work on improving the braking a little bit in order to keep improving tomorrow. The objective for tomorrow is to improve this and to challenge for Q2, then we will see what’s possible.

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez 93
Repsol Honda Team
Today was a day where there was the possibility to go straight to Q2, I had the speed but there were a few mistakes. On the first tyre I made a mistake on the last corner and with the second tyre there were yellow flags. I didn’t see the yellow flag so didn’t know my lap was cancelled, then I was pushing to improve on my lap time again and I lost the front at Turn 1. Aside from this it wasn’t too bad a day, the feeling was positive and the pace is not looking too bad. Tomorrow we will keep the bike more or less the same and focus more on my riding style and the lines we are using.

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