The Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha YZR M 1) faces one of his most difficult commitments as of this weekend with the dispute of the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at the Motegi circuit, after the “fiasco” in the first lap of the Motorland Aragón race.
Quartararo’s “zero” leaves him just ten points ahead of the Italian Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia (Ducati Desmosedici GP22), who is starring in an absolutely “explosive” second part of the season, with five consecutive podiumsfour of them victories, although his compatriot and also a Ducati rider, Enea “The Beast” Bastianini, has interfered in that comeback.
Bagnaia is emerging as one of the most serious rivalsalthough not the only one, in the fight for the 2022 world title, in which the mishap suffered by the Frenchman at the Alcañiz circuit has only added excitement to the final part of the championship, with five races in just seven weeks to elucidate the successor, if there is one, of Fabio Quartararo.
In that fight there are a lot of other conditioning factors, the first is “Pecco” Bagnaia because of his situation in the points table, only ten away, but it is that at 17 points is the Spanish Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia RS-GP)which as he very well explains every two for three is “stretching the gum” as much as he can and that is that the Aprilia rider, except for his discreet ninth position in Great Britain, fights grand prix after grand prix to be among the best of the category and is looking hard for a new victory to add to his record after the one in Argentina.
Aleix Espargaró has proven to be an excellent rider and to have a motorcycle practically on a par with the powerful Ducati, which has the widest representation in the training output of MotoGPwhich has already allowed him to mathematically proclaim himself champion of the world of constructors.
And criticized or not, at least the Borgo Panigale manufacturer’s policy of imposing team orders was and will be very “hackneyed”, as could be seen at Motorland Aragón, where Enea Bastianini overtook “Pecco” Bagnaia on the last lap to subtract five points from his private account and in the fight for the championship, in which “The Beast” Bastianini has entered, although he is further away, 48 points behind Quartararo when 125 points remain to be disputed.
Marc Márquez’s (Repsol Honda RC 213 V) return to competition did not go where it might have been expected due to a collision with Fabio Quartararo that left him out of the race on the first lap of the race and in an absolutely fortuitous incident, due to what the eight-time world champion will arrive in Motegi wanting to get rid of that “thorn”but with the objective that he never tires of always remembering that he can have as a priority to do as many kilometers as possible on the motorcycle.
In any case, the driver of the energy company will be one of the references in Motegi, especially due to the fact that he is on a track owned by Honda and where the good performance and the victories of its riders, although on this occasion the “local” Takaaki Nakagami will be in doubt, after the fall he suffered with Marc Márquez himself as the protagonist on the Teruel track.
If Nakagami is in doubt, who will not be sure is the Spanish Joan Mir (SUzuki GSX RR), who decided to get off the bike in Alcañiz to give himself more time to recover from his broken ankle and which will surely make him doubtful for the next race, seven days later, at the Thai Buriram circuit .
To the long list of hopefuls to “stand out” in Japan you can join that long string of Ducati riders who are almost always there, the Australian Jack Millerthe Frenchman Johann Zarco, the Spanish Jorge Martín or the Italians Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini, without forgetting the South African Brad Binder, who surprised by his performance with the KTM RC 16, or his teammate, the Portuguese Miguel Oliveira, who will want say goodbye to the Austrian manufacturer to join Aprilia in the best possible way.
The Spanish Maverick Viñales (Aprilia RS-GP) is another of the riders that will have to be taken into account as his performance in Alcañiz was far from what was seen in recent races due to poor training and the problems in which he was involved on the opening lap of Motorland, which is why the man from Girona from Roses surely wants to make up for it with a good performance in Motegi.
Something more or less similar happens to Alex Rins (Suzuki GSX RR), “grey” in the Teruel race, who finished in ninth position, but who will surely seek to improve on the Japanese circuit, as will his compatriot Alex Márquez (Honda RC 213V).