Salem Radio Network News Friday, December 9, 2022

Sports

Motorcycling-Honda’s Marquez takes first pole in three years at Japanese GP

(Reuters) – Honda’s six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez took pole position in a rain-hit Japanese Grand Prix qualifying in Motegi on Saturday, with Yamaha’s MotoGP world championship leader Fabio Quartararo managing only ninth on the grid.

Marquez, who made his return at last week’s Aragon Grand Prix after recovering from surgery on his right arm, posted a time of 1:55.214 to snatch pole on the same circuit where he claimed his last pole three years ago in 2019.

Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco finished second with Red Bull KTM’s Brad Binder completing the front row.

“I’m really happy to be in the pole position,” Marquez said. “In the morning I felt really strong on the wet, and I said ‘if it’s wet in the afternoon, I will try’.”

“It’s only pole position, but in the situation we’re coming from, it’s really important. It’s really important for me, for all the Japanese staff, it’s important for our future to achieve these small targets.

“Tomorrow in dry conditions, it will be a different race, but we will celebrate today.”

Gresini Racing’s Enea Bastianini, who won at Aragon and is fourth in the overall standings, will start Sunday’s race in 15th place after crashing out in Q1.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru)

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