Fighting fourth for fiery Marquez in Motegi
A thrilling return to the points for Marc Marquez as he took an exciting fourth place finish in just his second race back from injury, fourth months after his last complete race. Pol Espargaro earned 12th with a defensive ride in Japan.
Weather was once again front and centre at Mobility Resort Motegi as the storms broke and brilliant sunshine beat down on the track. This presented the Repsol Honda Team with the extra work of readjusting the setting of the Honda RC213V to the hotter, and dryer, conditions of the day. A strong start to Warm Up allowed both sides of the garage to gain the data they needed. Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro each suffered falls at Turn 9 during Warm Up without serious consequence.
For the 91st time in his career, Marc Marquez lined up in pole position in what would be his 150th race in the premier class with the Repsol Honda Team. A solid launch saw Marquez defend his place inside the top three in the opening corners as the race erupted behind. Taking a steady approach to conserve his strength until the end of the race, the #93 settled into fifth and his own pace.