Repsol Honda Team chasing Constructor Championship honours at home in Japan
After the stellar performance of Marc Marquez to win both the Thai GP and 2019 MotoGP World Championship, attention now turns to sealing the 2019 MotoGP Constructor Championship for Honda.
The 4.8 kilometre long Twin Ring Motegi circuit is not just the host of the Japanese Grand Prix, but also Honda’s home race. Built in 1997, Motegi has hosted MotoGP races since 2000 and became the home of the Japanese GP in 2004. Characterised by a number of heavy braking zones, Motegi offers a unique challenge for teams and riders.
Marc Marquez arrives in Japan as World Champion once again and is looking to add to his two previous wins at Honda’s home race. With the championship in hand, Marquez is determined to finish 2019 in the best way possible and continue his perfect record of top-two race finishes this season. Entering the weekend with 53 premier class wins, Marc Marquez has the chance to equal five-time World Champion Mick Doohan as the most successful Honda rider in the premier class.
With a 77-point lead in the Constructor Championship over Ducati and an 83-point advantage over Yamaha, the Japanese GP also presents Honda with their first chance to win the Constructor Championship. Honda must leave Japan with an advantage of 75 points over Ducati and Yamaha, a race win or any finish where the leading Honda is ahead of both the leading Ducati and Yamaha would secure the 2019 title – Honda’s 25th in the premier class.
At 32 years and 169 days old, Jorge Lorenzo is scheduled to become the youngest rider to make 200 premier class starts – taking the record from Dani Pedrosa who was 32 years and 170 days old. After a difficult Thai GP, the five-time World Champion is hopeful of returning to the form he showed earlier in the year. With three wins and thee additional podiums, Lorenzo has been able to achieve consistently strong results in his previous visits to Japan.
Action begins at 10:50 Local Time on Friday, October 18 with MotoGP FP1. Sunday’s 24-lap Japanese Grand Prix is scheduled to begin at 15:00 Local Time.
“It is a special feeling to bring the World Championship home to Honda. In previous years I have been able to win the title there, but now I will be able to visit all of the people in Honda and HRC who helped make 2019 possible behind the scenes. Now it is the time to push for the other titles, there is still the Constructor and Team titles to help Honda win. I am looking forward to racing in Motegi because it is Honda’s home race and the Japanese fans are very special.”
“We head to Japan looking for more after two difficult weekends. Myself and the team have some ideas to try for the bike in Motegi which will hopefully allow us to get back to where we need to be. I have some good memories at the track and it will be special to race in front of the Japanese crowd for the first time as a Honda rider.”