Motegi (Japan): Repsol Honda star rider Marc Marquez grabbed his 90th career pole position, for the Japanese Grand Prix here at the Twin Ring Circuit here on Saturday.
It was the Spaniard’s first pole at the Motegi as he clocked a time of 1:45.76s in tricky conditions. Petronas Yamaha SRT duo of Franco Morbidelli (1:45.89s) and Fabio Quartararo (1:45.94s) will join the front row.
Honda’s other rider Jorge Lorenzo, who owns the lap record here with an effort of 1:43.79s in 2015, could not live up to the expectations as he finished the final qualification at the 19th spot.
“My first pole position at Motegi this time… so I am happy. Honestly speaking today was a tricky condition. I felt good in the final qualification race and hopefully I will take the momentum tomorrow,” Marquez said.
The Repsol Honda Team have won the MotoGP World Championship for the last five years and this season was also no different with Marquez already ensuring the title. The Honda rider sealed his sixth MotoGP world title in Thailand earlier this month at the Chang International Circuit.
When the race begins on Sunday, all eyes will be on Marquez and Yamaha rider Morbidelli, who put on an impressive show in qualifying.
Honda came to Motegi with a 77-point lead over Ducati in the MotoGP constructors World Championship and could clinch the title in Japan if the Honda riders across the line don’t concede more than two points to the Ducati riders.
Marquez’s show in the qualifying session has raised hopes that Honda will come up with a strong performance in the main race on Sunday.
HCH, a trip down memory lane
Surrounded by small hills, the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit is an ideal getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. As the winter is approaching, the shiny maple and pine leaves are turning orange and it provides a postcard-perfect view. A lawn welcomes the fans.
Another interesting aspect of the circuit is the Honda Collection Hall, a one-of-its-kind museum that showcases Honda’s evolution through models, pictures and videos.
The museum captures the journey of Honda in motorsports.