Unpredictable climatic conditions hamper MotoGP Japan

MGP-16-Takuya Tsuda-3

Team Suzuki Press Office – September 23.

Alex Rins: 13th – 1’44.913 (+ 0.404)
Takuya Tsuda: 22nd – 1’46.718 (+ 2.209)

The MotoGP paddock has finally returned to Japan for the 16th round of the 2022 season, and the race weekend is already promising close racing and unpredictable climatic conditions.

A scheduling change put in place to allow extra time for containers to arrive from Aragon meant that there was just one session for the riders on Friday, although it was extended to 75 minutes.

Alex Rins made the most of his time on track, setting the early pace, trying out a new rear aero device and getting a total of 31 laps in – the highest number of any rider.

Despite the constant threat of rain, Rins was able to set times within the Top 3 and he topped the timesheet several times, setting his best lap with around 10 minutes left on the clock. But the MotoGP field proved to be as close as ever, with just tiny margins separating the riders, and Rins slipped to 13th at close of play after catching two yellow flags on his final flying laps. Despite his position, he was just four tenths of a second down.

Suzuki Test Rider, Takuya Tsuda, is standing in for Joan Mir in Motegi and the experienced Japanese rider was just 2.2 seconds off the pace today. He was less than two tenths of a second from his personal lap record at the track.

Alex Rins:

“I finished today just outside the Top 10, but everything had been going well until the last few minutes. I was able to set the quickest time, and then stay within the Top 3, but when I put fresh tyres on and went for my final push I got caught out by yellow flags and I couldn’t improve. It seems that it will be raining a lot tomorrow morning, so the likelihood is that I’ll be in Q1, but I want to be competitive in the wet conditions and find a good spot for the grid on Sunday.”

Takuya Tsuda:

“I know this track well, but the conditions were quite difficult today because there was light rain falling in some sectors and we couldn’t tell if it was going to get heavier at any moment. Other parts of the track were completely dry, and we did the whole session on slicks, but caution was needed. I’m going to study the data tonight and try to improve my time a bit more tomorrow; I want to make the most of this opportunity given to me at my home race – to enjoy it and to give my absolute best.”

Livio Suppo – Team Manager:

“Alex showed very good rhythm and pace, but unfortunately his last time attack laps were affected by two yellow flags. But anyway, let’s see what he can do in qualifying tomorrow, because Alex has already shown great speed, but the weather could make a difference. Tsuda-san is riding with us this weekend, and his priority is just to enjoy this last chance to ride the MotoGP bike.”


1 Jack MILLER Ducati Lenovo Team 1’44.509
2 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati Lenovo Team 1’44.537 0.028 0.028
3 Fabio QUARTARARO Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’44.558 0.049 0.021
4 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing 1’44.577 0.068 0.019
5 Luca MARINI Mooney VR46 Racing Team 1’44.645 0.136 0.068
6 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’44.656 0.147 0.011
7 Pol ESPARGARO Repsol Honda Team 1’44.678 0.169 0.022
8 Brad BINDER Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’44.735 0.226 0.057
9 Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’44.743 0.234 0.008
10 Maverick VIÑALES Aprilia Racing 1’44.797 0.288 0.054
11 Johann ZARCO Prima Pramac Racing 1’44.798 0.289 0.001
12 Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’44.886 0.377 0.088
13 Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’44.913 0.404 0.027
14 Enea BASTIANINI Gresini Racing MotoGP 1’44.978 0.469 0.065
15 Jorge MARTIN Prima Pramac Racing 1’45.009 0.500 0.031
16 Franco MORBIDELLI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’45.065 0.556 0.056
17 Cal CRUTCHLOW WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 1’45.187 0.678 0.122
18 Darryn BINDER WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 1’45.366 0.857 0.179
19 Marco BEZZECCHI Mooney VR46 Racing Team 1’45.426 0.917 0.060
20 Alex MARQUEZ LCR Honda CASTROL 1’45.600 1.091 0.174
21 Raul FERNANDEZ Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 1’45.739 1.230 0.139
22 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA HRC Team 1’45.845 1.336 0.106
23 Remy GARDNER Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 1’45.991 1.482 0.146
24 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Gresini Racing MotoGP 1’46.365 1.856 0.374
25 Takuya TSUDA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’46.718 2.209 0.353

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