Reigning champion – Marc Marquez – had a difficult race in Aragon, when he crashed out out on just the second lap. To add insult to injury, the young Spaniard suffered a mountain bike accident last week, forcing him to undergo surgery on his left hand on Wednesday. He has been recuperating this week and expects to take place in this weekend’s race – albeit not at 100%.
On the other side of the garage, Dani Pedrosa had a wonderful race in Aragon – battling with Valentino Rossi to claim a fantastic second place. Dani will be looking to continue this momentum this weekend in Japan.
Located amongst the vast natural beauty of the northern Kanto district, the twin ring circuit at Motegi in Japan consists of a 1.5 mile oval and a 2.9 mile road course constructed to international standards. Built by Honda as the ultimate test facility in August 1997, the road circuit became home to MotoGP in 2000. Victory here in the premier class has eluded Marc who won here in 2012 (Moto2) and 2010 (125cc), finished 2nd in 2013 and 2014 (MotoGP) and also in 2011 (Moto2). Dani has enjoyed three victories – 2012, 2011 (MotoGP) and 2004 (250cc), one 2nd place finish in 2005 (250cc) and three 3rd positions in 2013, 2009 and 2008 (MotoGP), finishing 4th here last year.
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING: 3RD – 184 POINTS
“Aragon was a tough race and I made a mistake, now I’m eager to get to Japan and try to end the season at the top. Unfortunately last week I had a training accident whilst mountain biking and suffered a fracture in my left hand. I had an operation on Wednesday and have been resting it since. I’m healing well and hope to be as fit as possible for this weekend. Track conditions in Motegi can vary quite a lot and we will work hard on the set up in terms of the hard acceleration and braking in order to be at the front come Sunday. I hope we can have a good result in front of Honda’s home fans!”
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING: 7TH – 129 POINTS
“After the battle in Aragon with Valentino I’m feeling really motivated to go to Japan, Honda’s home race! We had a testing day on Monday after the race and then on Tuesday I stayed in Barcelona for my birthday with family and friends. Now we’re already on our way for the fly aways. This race is a big event for Honda so I’m even more inspired to give them and all the fans a strong result! The track itself has many strong braking points and acceleration areas, so you need to find a good setup combining braking stability and traction out of the corners.”