Bagnaia Holds on to Championship Lead, Martin Knocking on the Door

October 1, 2023Ray Milton

Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) pulled off yet another sensational double win today winning the Japanese Grand Prix. Most notably he cut another 5 points off of championship leader Francesco Bagnaia’s (Ducati Lenovo) points lead. The margin between them is now only 3 points. This championship is far from decided and its gearing up to be a fan favorite finish which potential to come down to the final round in November. There are 6 races left on the calendar and both Martin and Bagnaia know there is no room for error if they are going to raise the trophy this season.

At this point Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing) seems to be moving in the wrong direction for championship contention. Bezzecchi lost another 3 points to Bagnaia this weekend after finishing P4 in the Japanese Grand Prix this morning. One man who leaves Japan with a smile on his face is Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda). Marquez seems to be back in good stride after he secured a P3 finish in Japan returning him to the podium.

Marquez Commented on the Wet Weather Day after the Race

Marc Marquez had the following words at Honda’s home race, “It feels great to return to the podium after so long away, and to do it here in Motegi, at Honda’s home, with so many fans and people from Honda here, honestly it is quite romantic. In the race it was all about understanding the wet tires once we switched over, at the start it was quite dry so it was important to be careful to not destroy the tire.

I stayed calm and when I saw there was more water on track, I began to attack. I was feeling really good with my pace and I think we could have had an interesting end to the race, but ultimately Race Direction did a really good job and they made the right call at the right time…I want to say thank you to them and of course all of the Repsol Honda Team as well, days like today have many factors at play and my team worked really well to handle everything. This podium is what we have been looking for all year and it’s a nice boost for the last push in 2023.”

Brad Binder Can’t Replicate Sprint Race Result

Unfortunately for KTM rider Brad Binder his early weekend success in the Sprint Race did not carry over to the Grand Prix. Binder crashed out of the Japanese Grand Prix early in the race on the fifth lap. The race was eventually stopped due to extreme weather conditions however the stewards did not allow Binder to rejoin the race.

Binder had the following words, “Overall I think we had a positive weekend here in Japan. We were fast in all sessions and to bring home a podium in the Sprint yesterday was fantastic but unfortunately today it was tricky with the weather conditions and we came in after the first lap for the bike swap. I started to feel good in the rain and with good pace but I had a small lock going into Turn 3 and that was it. Thank you to my team for their hard work. We’ll try and make up for it next time around.”

Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) also suffered the same fate. The race restarted at reduced distance. No major injuries were reported.

Full Japanese Grand Prix Results

New Championship Standings