Honda's Marquez takes first pole in three years at Japanese GP
Honda's six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez ended his three-year pole drought on Saturday (September 24) in a rain-hit Japanese Grand Prix qualifying in Motegi, with Yamaha's MotoGP world championship leader Fabio Quartararo managing only ninth on the grid.
Marquez posted a time of 1:55.214 to snatch pole on the same circuit where he claimed his last pole in 2019, as he looks to return to MotoGP's summit following a couple of years marred by injury.
The Spaniard has had persistent problems since he broke his arm at the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix and has had multiple operations since then.
He missed six rounds of the championship following the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello in May, but made his return at last week's Aragon Grand Prix after recovering from surgery on his right arm.
"I feel really happy. It's true that it's a pole position, it's only a pole position, it's in wet conditions but at the moment when we come, we are coming from a difficult moment. At the moment we have now with the bike with all the team, with me, it's really important to have these small motivations, small achievement." Said MARC MARQUEZ
Pramac Ducati's Johann Zarco finished second with Red Bull KTM's Brad Binder completing the front row.
Aprilia Racing's Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro finished fourth and sixth respectively, while Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia, who is 10 points behind Quartararo in the overall standings, endured a frustrating afternoon coming last in Q2.
Gresini Racing's Enea Bastianini, who won at Aragon, will start Sunday's (September 25) race in 15th place after crashing out in Q1.
Aron Canet of Spain took pole in the Moto2 class while Japan's Tatsuki Suzuki was fastest in Moto3.