The Japanese Grand Prix is one epic battle and it is lights, camera and action at the 2019 event. There is a variety of rewards up for grabs at this event: winning the race, a rookie of the year award for Quartararo, the French riders potential first victory and Ducati coming back strong to shake up the front of the grid.


Besides arriving with a smile, Marquez enjoyed his celebrations after winning the World Championship in Thailand. A sense of relief was across Marquez face after his crash in Thailand. The Repsol Honda rider will be wanting to win again and not shy away from pushing the limits. Regardless of being a World Champion once again, Marquez is the ant for a reason and he fights! MM93: “It was a nice celebration in Bangkok with the team we stayed one night and celebrated in the proper way and then when I arrived home I celebrated with my friends and family but of course I didn’t forget to prepare for these three races, I prepared in another way but I feel good, more relaxed but the mentality is the same as Thailand. We’ll try to work hard to win on Sunday and that’s the mentality for the last four races to try and prepare for 2020 in the best way.”

The circuit itself is one you either love or dislike. For Maverick Vinales, it is one he enjoys racing on and feels motivated every time he sets out on to the track surface. MV12: “I actually like Motegi a lot as a track. I always like pushing there, so I expect that we will be good this weekend because it’s a track where I’m usually fast. Last year it was a difficult race, but back then we were at a point where I didn’t feel good with the bike. At the moment I feel incredible with the bike and can push so much for good lap times. We will see, but in any case, I will be pushing.” At this point of the Championship, it is very important for Vinales to find a quality rhythm where he can feel comfortable on the bike at all times. In the last few races, he has struggled with the fuel load and versatility of the Yamaha machine. Japan could be a race where he outperforms his teammate Valentino Rossi once again and truly showcases why Yamaha signed him to partner on with the Doctor.

Credit: Ducati Corse Press

In contrast, Andrea Dovizioso wants to improve and utilise the last part of the season as a working garage to fine tune issues and grow. DesmoDovi knows that the next selection of races are crucial in order to stay ahead of the rest and also develop the bike to a point where it can be title winning worthy. AD04: “With the title already assigned in Thailand, our main aim now is to hold on to second place, and this is what we’ll be fighting for in the next four races. Motegi is one of those special circuits where in the last few years we have been very competitive. Last year we missed out on the podium while fighting for the win, and I think that we will again be fast this year. We must continue to work hard to improve in all conditions and on all tracks and we’ll be giving our all in these last four races.”

Credit: CormacGP & Repsol Honda MotoGP Team

We must say, the qualifying on Saturday was interesting due to the weather systems that have been experience recently in Japan. Marquez managed to bag pole position and funnily enough it is his first one at this particular circuit. The lap time set by MM93 was excellent with a 1:45.763 just ahead of Franco Morbidelli and Quartararo. No doubt, tomorrow it will be game on! With pole position number ten for the Spanish ant, he will have to deal with a hungry pack behind him who will push limits in order to try and give Petronas Yamaha SRT their first champagne taste of victory on Sunday. In a premium sport of this category, winning can make all the difference to your career and especially in the early stages. If Quartararo can win on Sunday, his 2019 season will go down in the history books as one of the greatest. There will be challenges for the French rider, like the heavy braking and finding the right lines to take. Fabulous Fabio will study Marquez, Morbidelli, Vinales and various others to determine his race start upon the lights going out.

Qualifying Comments:

MM93: “I am very happy. We need to be honest for tomorrow. We are not in the best position or conditions. We are ready to fight for the victory and try to do it. The warmup session will be crucial. We need to understand the temperature and humidity. In FP1, one tyre was good, in FP2, the other tyre was good, it will be tricky for everybody. It will be nice to see what everyone chooses in terms of tyres.”

FM21: “It is great to be back on the front row. As you said, we have been decently strong throughout the whole weekend and fast yesterday. This morning, we were fast in the wet. What can I say, we were also fast in the hot lap this afternoon. We will have to see what the weather will be like, seems like it will be dry. We are ready for the race! I think the combination of two things for us: Fabio arrived, is doing amazing things and he gave the right motivation to all the Yamaha riders to improve. As a result, Yamaha improved the package.”

Credit: PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team and Gold & Goose

FB20: “I am really pleased to be on the front row. Honestly, in these mixed conditions I did not feel great. It was really tricky in third gear. We made some mistakes, though it was a good lap. Honestly, the pace was good yesterday and also the tyres it is not easy to make the right choice. We will try small settings in the warmup to improve the bike. We are ready to fight and I am ready to make some good first laps!”

Tomorrow, it will be time to race and enjoy the Japanese festivities as they unfold! Bring your popcorn ladies and gentlemen, because you are going to be in for a show with so many riders wanting the bragging rights in a country where so many bikes are manufactured.