MotoGP 2023
Round 16

Repsol Honda Team work for more after Australia’s first Saturday Grand Prix

au Phillip Island

Schedule changes made for a busy Saturday in Australia as the Repsol Honda Team contested practice, Qualifying and the Grand Prix all in the same day.

Repsol Honda Team work for more after Australia’s first Saturday Grand Prix

For the first time since 2015, a Grand Prix was held on Saturday as weather warnings forced a change of schedule on safety grounds. This made for an intense day as the MotoGP field completed practice, two Qualifying sessions and had the full length Australian Grand Prix all moved to the same day.

As the weather continued to cool from Friday, the Repsol Honda Team headed out on track for Q1 alongside a number of big names for an intense 15-minute session. Marc Marquez would time his run perfectly to enter the top two on his final flying lap, advancing through to Q2. Ultimately taking seventh on the grid with a best time of 1’28.012, the eight-time World Champion ended 0.766s off pole.

From the head of the third row, Marquez lost a little ground in the run down to Turn 1 but quickly rallied and recovered to challenge the top five. A spirited start to the race had the #93 as an early podium contender but he quickly had to switch into a more defensive posture as the competition around him increased. Gambling with the soft, the latter half of the race became about survival, and he crossed the line in 15th to collect a solitary point.

Joan Mir started the full-length Grand Prix from 16th on the grid after taking some steps forward with the setting of his Repsol Honda Team RC213V in the morning. From here, Mir was able launch well and work his way forward and into the points. Riding comfortably and able to gain on those ahead of him in almost every corner, the Repsol Honda Team rider found himself in a multi-rider battle. Unfortunately, the fighting would get too heated and contact with Marini at Turn 4 in the middle of the race would result in Mir retiring soon after.

A further schedule change has seen the Sprint Race brought forward to 13:00 Local Time on Sunday, set to be run over 13 laps.

Marc Márquez
Marc Márquez 93
Repsol Honda Team
Last year the soft tyre brought us the podium, this year the gamble didn’t pay off. I was hoping for a slower race, but straight away Martin was pushing hard and I knew it would be a very fast race. At the start I really enjoyed the ten or so laps with Bagnaia and Zarco as we were fighting a lot. Then I needed to change my tactic and just focus on bringing the bike home as I was suffering more with tyre life. Now we wait and see what will happen with the situation tomorrow.

Joan Mir
Joan Mir 36
Repsol Honda Team
I disappointed with today, it is another hard one. I was just trying to make my race, not hurting anyone, trying to take care of the tyres because you saw what happened at the end of the race. We were working in the correct way according to the data. Then Marini tried to overtake me and hit me, and I fell after losing the front. Being in the back, the situation is more complicated as the riders are fighting a lot – I was a victim of it today. But this is racing. Let’s see tomorrow.

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