MotoGP: Honda 2022 Round 16 Japan GP Preview[]

MotoGP 2022 (Road Racing World Championship) Japan GP Round 16 will be held for three days from September 23rd (Friday) to 25th (Sunday) at Mobility Resort Motegi, Tochigi Prefecture. In the last two years, the tournament was canceled due to the corona disaster, but this year will be the first time in three years.

Motegi hosted the first Japanese Grand Prix in 1999. After that, in the four years between 2000 and 2003, two races were held in Japan, the Japanese GP at Suzuka Circuit in the spring and the Pacific GP at Motegi in the fall . Since 2004, the event has only been held in Motegi, and has since established itself as the platform for the Japanese GP.

The Honda teams take on a home GP for the first time in 3 years
The Japanese GP has been held in the autumn since 2010, and has attracted the attention of racing fans around the world as the title-deciding race at the end of the season. This year’s event, held for the first time in three years, will be a series of races starting with the 15th round of the Aragon GP, ​​followed by the 17th round of the Thai GP after the Japanese GP, making it a series the first three races of the season.

Three years ago, Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) won his 6th world title at the Thailand GP held before the Japanese GP, and returned triumphantly to the Japanese GP, Honda’s home GP, as champion of the world In the final, he won the championship for the third time following 2016 and 2018. In addition, Marquez played a great role that year, winning the 25th Constructors’ title for the fourth consecutive year in the Japanese GP, delighting fans Japanese racing.

This year has been a difficult year for Honda, but it is hoped that the Japanese GP, the first in three years, will take a big step towards a comeback.

Marc Márquez, who returned after seven races in the previous round, the GP Aragon, showed a run that was hard to believe that this was the first real race in three and a half months, including free practice and qualifying. In the race, which got off to a good start, the rear tire slipped on the third corner of the opening lap, and overall leader Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) behind him collided with the Marquez who slowed and fell. Marc Márquez, who had a problem with the machine due to the contact, suffered from a problem where the steering wheel was carried to the left side from the 7th turn to the 8th corner, in a collision with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU) which was behind the left, and Nakagami fell In a series of events to do. Marquez retired after the first lap and apologized to both riders for contact.

Marquez, who will change his mind and challenge the Japanese GP in this tournament, has had many memorable races at Motegi. In 2014, when he was crowned champion, he won the championship for the second year in a row, standing on the podium in 2nd place. With 11 wins out of 15 races this year, Honda won the title for the first time at its home Grand Prix, and it was a tournament full of joy for fans and officials alike.

In 2016, the Japanese GP was once again the stage for the title decider, and Marquez won the title for the first time in two years with his fifth win of the season. In 2017, he fought hard against Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) who finished 2nd overall in a rainy race and finished 2nd. Afterwards, in the final in Valencia, he won the title for the second year in a row and for the fourth time.

In 2018, he joined the Japanese GP as title champion once again, and took his 8th win of the season to win his 5th championship for the 3rd year in a row. In 2019, he took his ninth win at the previous round in Thailand and won his sixth title, and took his 10th win at the GP in Japan to win the Constructors’ title.

This year will be his second race after a second operation on his upper right arm, which he broke at his GP in Spain in 2020. .

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU), who is approaching his home Grand Prix, has announced that he will continue to participate in the next season before the opening of the previous round, GP Aragon. This tournament will be challenged with the best motivation of the season, but on the opening lap of the previous round Aragon GP, ​​he collided with Marc Márquez and fell, injuring the little finger and the ring finger of his right hand. He underwent an operation in local hospital. Although he is not in perfect condition for this tournament, he is determined to do his best if he receives a medical on Thursday, the day before the start of the tournament, and is cleared to participate.

So far, Nakagami won PP in 2017 when competing in the Moto2 class at Motegi, and finished 6th in the final. In 2018, which was his first challenge in the MotoGP class, he qualified in 12th. In the final race, he went off the track due to contact during the race, after which he caught up fiercely and finished in 15th place. In 2019, he injured his right shoulder and finished 13th in qualifying and 16th in the final.

Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) finished 15th in the difficult early stages of the previous round, the GP Aragon, when he ran off the track due to confusion on the first lap. It was just a race to score points. He finished 3rd on the podium at the opening round of the season, Qatar GP, but has been struggling ever since. The last few races have not produced results, but he has shown good runs everywhere, and expectations are high for his performance in this tournament.

Espargaro’s record at Motegi is 3rd in 2009 when he was competing in the 125cc class, 2nd place in 2012 and a win in 2013 when he was in Moto2. In the top class, 6th place in 2016 is the highest. This year, we will do our best to aim for even more.

Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) has three wins at Motegi so far. He won in Moto3 in 2013 and 2014, and in Moto2 in 2017. This will be the first time he runs in Tegi in the premier class, but he will do his best to aim for the best this season.

Alex Marquez finished 12th, the highest among Honda riders, in the previous round with GP Aragon. However, Motegi is my favorite course, so I’m looking forward to my first ride.

Due to logistics problems from the previous round, GP Aragon, Friday’s running was limited to the afternoon. Fridays usually have two free practice sessions of 45 minutes each, but this year there will only be one free practice session on Friday, which will be extended to 75 minutes.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team)
“I’m very excited to be back in Japan. This is Honda’s home race. It’s an interesting circuit and the fans are great. It’s been another very busy two and a half days due to the schedule change, but I’m feeling better after Aragon, hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy the weekend in Japan and fully recover on our way , and I would like to continue working on the development of the machine.”

Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team)
“Aragon was tough, but we’re going home to Honda. We’ll tour the factory and meet the Japanese fans again, which will be a big boost. The atmosphere in Japan is always great. Support us. I will continue to work hard to put on a good show for everyone who will be there. Also, this circuit is special because I won the Moto2 class in 2013. I want to make more good memories this year.”

“I had an operation on my right ring finger and little finger on Monday morning because I damaged the tendon in a fall. The operation was successful but of course I am in pain. I had a medical on Thursday and I’ll be in FP1 on Friday I hope I’m ready. I’m not feeling well, so I have to find my level. I want to have a good weekend in Motegi with the fans.”

Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol)
“First of all, I have to do better than Aragon. I had a big accident in the warm-up before the race. I still have some pain in my left hand, but I feel a little better. Like usually we have to work 100% because the weather forecast is for rain or sunshine. I think it will be an interesting weekend. This time we only have one Friday practice so it will be special. It is it’s going to be a great weekend. This is my first time driving a MotoGP machine in Tegi, so I feel a bit of a rookie. I have a pretty good rhythm since the summer holidays, so I’ll do my best.”

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Category: F1 / MotoGP

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