MotoGP 2022 - Round 16 of 20, Mobility Resort Motegi - Qualification
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing splashed their way to the front row of the start grid after qualification at the Motul Grand Prix of Japanand a wet first return to Motegi since 2019. Brad Binder classified 3rd while Miguel Oliveira was not far away in 8th.
- Best MotoGP qualifier for Binder with last flying lap attempt in Motegi
- Oliveira 8th through Q2 and as Tech3 KTM Factory Racing take 20th and 22nd
- Deniz Öncü 8th fastest in soaking Moto3 Q2
- 11th on the grid for Augusto Fernandez in Moto2
The Mobility Resort Motegi’s focus on hard braking and acceleration was slightly dampened by wet and overcast weather for MotoGP’s first and welcome return to the Japanese venue in three years. Round sixteen of the series was the first stop of a busy leg of the championship that will visit Japan, Thailand, Australia and Malaysia in five weeks.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing saw both riders place inside the top ten and into Q2 reckoning on Friday and through an altered timetable that permitted a single (and longer) Free Practice session. The skies were gray but mostly dry but the climate changed for Saturday when the showers arrived and dowsed the asphalt. The stormy air forced the cancellation of FP3.
Binder made a mistake on his second-to-last flying lap but was able to manage another attack before the clock ran out in the fifteen-minute Q2 session. The South African vied for Pole – with the quickest effort through the first sector - and was three tenths of a second away from Marc Marquez but 3rd still meant a personal best. Miguel Oliveira was in contention for Pole Position as well but a mistake and small crash midway through Q2 meant he could not improve higher than 8th; just over half a second from the top spot.
Tech3 KTM Factory Racing riders Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez could not progress through Q1. Gardner was 20th and ahead of Fernandez, who has only raced at Motegi once before, as the Spaniard ranked 22nd.
Race day begins at 12.00 local time with Moto3, followed by Moto2 and MotoGP, meaning an early morning start CET.
Brad Binder: “Super-happy to have the opportunity to start from the front row, my first one, especially in the wet. The morning did not start well with a silly crash but I knew if I would keep pushing during the day then I’d get there. I went for it on that last lap and made another mistake that cost me time but kept going and made my first front row, so I can’t complain! It is important to start as far forward in MotoGP as possible and today we did a good job.”
Miguel Oliveira: “I had good speed and good potential in Q2 and on that specific lap but it ended on the ground in Turn 9! A shame but I’m confident for tomorrow. It has been tricky to prepare for the race but let’s see.”
Remy Gardner:“We had a really good FP2 this morning which is a positive thing. The bike felt different in the afternoon, maybe because of the rain. I did not have much rear grip and I was unable to ride like this morning. It is a shame that we did not have a FP3 because it would have been good to understand better what we needed to do for qualifying, but it is like it is. Tomorrow we will have to push a lot because it will be a tough race for sure, so we will have to adapt to the conditions and give our best.”
Raul Fernandez: ““Quite wet weather, right?! The day was challenging with the track conditions but I feel pretty happy about my day as I am feeling good both in dry and wet. I made a small mistake in qualifying but it is ok. I am really happy to be back in Japan, and whether it rains or not tomorrow, I’m looking forward to the race.”
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Tatsuki Suzuki rode to 1st place in Moto3 as Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü was the most elevated KTM RC4 runner in 8th, meaning the Turk will see the lights from the third row of the grid. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia is close behind in 10th. Adrian Fernandez is on the fifth row in 14th while Daniel Holgado starts from 21st tomorrow.
Moto2 Pole Position was earned by Aron Canet but Red Bull KTM Ajo pairing Augusto Fernandez and Pedro Acosta put in safe and steady ride during the worst of the downpours to take 11th and 18th respectively.
Results Qualifying MotoGPMotul Grand Prix of Japan
1. Marc Marquez (ESP) Honda 1:55.422
2. Johann Zarco (FRA) Ducati +0.208
3. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.323
4. Maverick Viñales (ESP) Aprilia +0.406
5. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati +0.472
8. Miguel Oliveira (POR) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.681
20. Remy Gardner (AUS) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:57.288
22. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:57.827
Results Qualifying Moto2 Motul Grand Prix of Japan
1. Aron Canet (ESP) 2:04.939
2. Jake Dixon (GBR) +0.730
3. Tony Arbolino (ITA) +0.952
11. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +2.409
18. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +4.455
Results Qualifying Moto3 Motul Grand Prix of Japan
1. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Honda 2:11.246
2. Scott Ogden (ESP) Honda +0.322
3. Sergio Garcia (GBR) GASGAS +0.542
4. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Husqvarna +0.696
5. Dennis Foggia (ITA) Honda +0.769
8. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +0.878
10. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.983
14. Adrian Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +2.440
21. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo (Q1) 2:13.237
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