2022 Motegi MotoGP Qualifying Result: Ring The Alarm

Saturday in Japan was full of surprises, some more enjoyable than others, but the extended red flag delay in Moto2 due to weather conditions was the first sign of trouble, followed by the cancellation of the final practice session and a delayed start for the premier class. At the end of two wet qualifying sessions, there were more grumpy faces than happy ones around but the first pleasant surprise was Marc Marquez’s return to parc fermé, three years after his last pole position at the same venue. The Honda man resisted pressure from Johann Zarco to claim top honours by two tenths of a second and still refuse to backtrack on his stated lack of podium aspirations. Zarco had to settle for second after being the star of Q1, while Brad Binder’s late charge secured him his first front row start in the premier class.

Also in a celebratory mood was Maverick Viñales, who went from ninth to third on his final flying lap, before being pushed back a place by Binder and opening the second row of the grid. The Aprilia man will be in familiar company, from Q1 graduate Jorge Martin and teammate Aleix Espargaro, who also made late progress from the lower half of the timing screens to be first amongst the title contenders in sixth place. In a particularly tricky afternoon for the factory Ducati squad, Jack Miller couldn’t work his usual rain dance and had to make do with seventh on the grid, while Miguel Oliveira was predictably fast in the tricky conditions but a crash in the final three minutes dropped him down to eight.

A rather annoyed Fabio Quartararo lost ground throughout the session and will be completing the third row of the grid, but on a positive note for the Frenchman, his closest title contender sits even further back. Pecco Bagnaia seemed to struggle to put a fast lap together, ending Q2 last, two seconds off pole and at the back of fourth row, behind Luca Marini and Pol Espargaro.

Up until that point, it looked like a much worse day for Enea Bastianini, whose late crash in Q1 left him stranded in 15th position on the grid, behind compatriots Marco Bezzecchi and Franco Morbidelli, but the Beast eventually found himself only one row behind his future teammate. Much like the Gresini man, Alex Rins will also have to pull off a trademark comeback through the field, after an underwhelming Q1 left him 18th on the grid. The convalescent home favourite, Takaaki Nakagami, gets the unlucky task of closing the back of the grid, after an early tumble in Q1.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1:55.214    
2 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 1:55.422 0.208 0.208
3 33 Brad Binder KTM 1:55.537 0.323 0.115
4 12 Maverick Viñales Aprilia 1:55.620 0.406 0.083
5 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 1:55.686 0.472 0.066
6 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1:55.771 0.557 0.085
7 43 Jack Miller Ducati 1:55.784 0.570 0.013
8 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1:55.895 0.681 0.111
9 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1:56.326 1.112 0.431
10 10 Luca Marini Ducati 1:56.354 1.140 0.028
11 44 Pol Espargaro Honda 1:57.354 2.140 1.000
12 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1:57.373 2.159 0.019
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 1:55.300    
Q2 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 1:55.795 0.495 0.495
13 72 Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 1:55.934 0.634 0.139
14 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1:56.006 0.706 0.072
15 23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 1:56.130 0.830 0.124
16 49 Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 1:56.432 1.132 0.302
17 73 Alex Marquez Honda 1:56.578 1.278 0.146
18 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1:56.656 1.356 0.078
19   Tetsuta Nagashima   1:57.229 1.929 0.573
20 87 Remy Gardner KTM 1:57.288 1.988 0.059
21   Takuya Tsuda   1:57.787 2.487 0.499
22 25 Raul Fernandez KTM 1:57.827 2.527 0.040
23 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 1:58.115 2.815 0.288
24 40 Darryn Binder Yamaha 1:58.292 2.992 0.177
25 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1:58.717 3.417 0.425
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Top eight were looking great in the wet, and what about that #1 hey. Wow!

Looking at relative race pace and track position, this looks like a really good chance for Zarco to get his win. Binder should also perform well if his makes his usual gains in pace on Sundays. Miller also has great pace but he always seems to fade in races and Oliveira looks fast too. Can MM93 ride an entire race at speed? How much progress can Quart, Pecco and Enea make through the field, speed traps don’t show the big disparities from other tracks. 

It all looks intriguing and I am betting on a new addition to the 2022 race winners list. 

Let’s hope the aero works well in the race, better than the results in practice suggest. As a past critic of Suzuki’s paralysis, I’m very glad it’s there. It’s been suggested elsewhere, however, that this development is the long coming result of a budget ‘fixed’ at the outset for the season, which had to be spent. Not a bit of it, Suzuki, as an exiting manufacturer, will have had its MotoGP budget stripped to the bone.  And the bone is exactly what’s being thrown to home race fans. And the media. Welcome to the corporate world. Elephant in the room alert.

One doesn't have to be a Motoshrink to see how unhappy Pecco was after Q2. The way he ducked away from Ciabatta to avoid the outstretched hand... Wow! Body language indeed.

...in WAY better conditions too! Pecco showed the same demeanor Fri, literally trying to escape talking w paddock interview. Just not happy and very worried about his Championship points. Watching Zarco, Martin and Jack go well. Pressure has just hit he AND Bastiannini. 

I think a few riders fell foul of bad timing. Something happened in secctor 3. I'm not sure if it ccaused Oliveira's ccrash or was ccaused by Oliveira's ccrash but after the ccrash secctor 3 killed all times. Several riders were up by some amount through secctor 1 and 2 but then lost it all and more in secctor 3. Secctors 1 and 2 being very stop start exccept for turn 6. Secctor three having the esses of 7 and 8 which I guess is where the time was lost, I think that was where Oliveira ccrashed...not sure though. Zarco (ran out) also mentioned the balance of the bike going away as the amount of water on track reduced. The increase in grip not returning faster lap times due to poor balance. A few laps more and the times would have dropped.

Interesting to see the top contenders all in a line: AE in P6, FQ in P9, FB in P12, and EB in P15. Will any get a Brad-at-Aragon-like start?

^ Good Sunday Prediction Mr GSP!


Duc fairing is perfected for turnability. Gorgeous drive out w their arse end gizmo and huge engine w top notch electronics, but Bastiannini went down AGAIN at the very same tight T5 as Fri. Top speed and a long bike push a front that has a cooler tire. Late Q1. Then yellow flags screw riders out of laps. Nagashishima went down too.

We just saw the end of Ennea Bastiannini's big 2022 surge. T5 Motegi beat the Beast. Bagnaia too struggled under pressure Fri and Sat. 

Top 6 Ducati Armada with a Morbidelli in it. Pramac top, a compliment to the 2022 motor in wet and Zarco/Martin.

Taka last, at home?! Ouch. Literally, he has a custom firmer and larger R glove for his hand injured 6 days ago. 3.4 secs off of Zarco, and a half sec behind D.Binder - never would have guessed it.

Fun to have a couple local Wildcards from Test riders. Plus Cal, that's great from Japanese manufacturers. I thought Dani Pedrosa would do more of the same. And the new Euro Test Team for Yamaha sure has been quiet, eh? Not a peep.

Unzipped Fabio's chest didn't look comfortable, but that is a spot that bothers less than others. Bagnaia not happy - focused on working out set up, getting temp into tires.
Mav towing Aleix again, good plan. Stop and go braking is tough on the Aprilia. It is quite Suzuki esque, I sure like it. So will Oliveira. (Pecco ought to emulate the Black duo w Jack?).
The KTM and Honda clearly benefit from rain tires. Better manners, more confidence. Oliveira got caught out pushing his final lap. Vinales finished strong by himself. Binder! He AND his bike are strong in the wet. Great guy.

Congrats Honda and The Marc! Completely wet Saturday, dry race --> crazy shite. Just look, again, at who is likely to burst forward at the start.
If MM93 can get a good start, tomorrow may be his day. 

Championship pressure got the best of Bastiannini and Bagnaia. Aliens thrive w pressure. "Sublimation" is the ultimate of human defenses. 1st fly away, shortened FP sched, Q rain delay. Honda/KTM/Aprilia/Pramac Duc strong showing with wets too. The shake up shook up Pecco.

What does WaveyD plan to do with all those C's saved by spelling it Peco? Might not be to write Champion. Could come to complete carnage. Or crying in Tevulia. Crapped chance.

I still favor Bagnaia for the Championship. 17 pts three way! Watch for a spicy Asparagus manana, and some rather unique battle pairings. Notepad out. Half a dozen Q1 riders will be strong in the dry race and drive fwd, Taka from the tail included.

Bagnaia and Quartararo will bump though. Miller and Oliveira as well. Marc, Vinales and Pol could be fading backwards at the same time. Multiple passes, contact, and early fireworks expected. Hope it is safe.

Closing stage could have lappers and blue flags. Not just Wildcards but a couple riders off pace today. Plus riders bumped off in early incidents could find the front pack coming through. Not sure.

Riding the Triumph this wknd. Good therapy.


It's one of those things I type, type again, delete, type, give up and spell it Pleb Bongmeiyou. On a lighter note, remember the two Misano races last year ? Enea 12th and 16th on the grid for the two races. Finished 3rd in both. Yes it's a different track and the fact that it was Misano is probably significant. First time at Misano on a MotoGP bike though. The other big question...what is the plural of Ducati ?

"Dukes?" Gaggle of ducks? 2022 MotoGP.

Thinking it is Moto2 that may have a challenge tomorrow. Not much rubber down, different set up, dry Dunlops grabbing at wet Michelin tracks. Less pressure there though and they've had cool heads. There were a few incidents last Round for the 765 kids.

Several fast Japanese riders could have a good go in both Moto3 and Moto2. 

-Braking from 180 mph in the pouring rain, OMG. Sometimes I forget how brave and skilled these guys are.

-I criticized Marc for never acknowledging the camera in the garage, so I am compelled to mention that he actually looked at the camera and waved, before FP1. Probably means his career is at an end...

-Zarco has an invisibility shield installed on his Pramac. I never see him on camera, and then suddenly he is in the top 5 every practice. French voodoo perhaps.

-Can't wait to see what Brad Binder can do with a front row start. And more generally--as has been referenced above--it should be a crazy first lap, with some slower guys qualifying up front in the rain, and the title contenders back in the pack.

-Luca, Luca!

^ Sincere Marini fan?! As far as I can tell you're the 2nd after his Mom! Even Vale prefers Bezzechi. 

I must admit, last Round he finally cracked my blinders. Seems a good kid, wishing him well. Just not as much as Bastiannini or Bagnaia.


^ Sincere Marini fan?! As far as I can tell you're the 2nd after his Mom! Even Vale prefers Bezzechi. 

I must admit, last Round he finally cracked my blinders. Seems a good kid, wishing him well. Just not as much as Bastiannini or Bagnaia.


I see him as Dovi's heir. He's actually not very much like his half brother. But he is fast, analytical, and on a Ducati, just not a red one like Andrea.