MotoGP Motegi: Marquez ‘celebrating important moment’| Christina Bulpett | MotoGP
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was back on MotoGP pole position at Motegi after 1071 days, following a wet and delayed Saturday.
With FP3 cancelled and qualifying an hour later than planned due to torrential thunder storms soaking the 4.8km circuit, qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix proved satisfying for the returning HRC rider at the manufacturers own track.
Motegi was the home of his last pole position, back in 2019, with the eight-time world champion replicating the feat in preparation for his 150th premier class start. Having qualified directly for the Q2 fight, a 1’55.214, set on his sixth of eight laps, secured the celebrations by two-tenths from Johann Zarco with the president of HRC president, Koji Watanabe, welcoming the Spaniard to Parc Fermé.
With Iker Lecuona clinching a debut pole in WorldSBK, it marks the first time Honda machines have claimed pole in both MotoGP and WorldSBK since October 16, 2011.
“I’m really, really, really happy to be on the pole position,” Marquez said from Japan. “Today, in the morning, I already felt really, really strong in the wet, and then I said, ‘Okay, if it’s wet in the afternoon, I will try.’ I knew I could be fast in these conditions, and I had to take the maximum profit from it.
“It’s only pole position, it’s in wet conditions, but from where we are coming, in the situation we are in with Honda, it’s really important for all the Japanese staff, it’s really important for me, it’s really important for the future to achieve these small targets.
“Tomorrow, in dry conditions, it will be a different race, it will be a different story, we will come back to our reality but no matter what I am sure I will enjoy the first laps.
“I want to say thank you to HRC and to the Repsol Honda Team for continuing to support and believe in me, we are coming. Today is an amazing day, we must celebrate and enjoy it!”