The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team have flown directly from India to Japan for Round 14 of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship. This event holds extra significance as it‘s the manufacturer‘s home GP, so Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli are keen to put on a good show.
Quartararo arrives at the Mobility Resort Motegi after a podium at the Indian GP and is holding 11th position in the championship standings. As a fan of the Japanese track, he is aiming for solid points this weekend. He only has two MotoGP class races at Motegi under his belt so far. He collected one podium, securing second place in 2019, and scored eighth place in 2022.
Having officially kicked off the Asian leg of the championship last week, Morbidelli is looking forward to the intense but very rewarding schedule of the overseas races. The fans in Japan are extremely passionate, which will spur the Italian on. He is currently 12th in the championship standings and eager to improve on last year‘s 14th place on Japanese soil. He only rode three premier class races here before with a sixth position as highest result in 2019. Morbido did achieve a podium here in the Moto2 class in 2016 when he secured third place.
To kick off the race weekend on a high note, today Quartararo and Morbidelli stopped by the Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. headquarters and Yamaha factory in Iwata, Japan. They were joined by Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Test Team rider Cal Crutchlow, who is a wild-card entry this weekend with the YAMALUBE RS4GP Racing Team. Together they took a tour of the premises and gave out lots of autographs to the passionate Yamaha employees.
The Motegi circuit was built in 1997 for test purposes. It was first visited by MotoGP in 1999 for the Japanese Grand Prix. A year later the track hosted the Pacific Grand Prix, and it has remained a major attraction for motorsports fans ever since. In 2004 Motegi replaced the Suzuka Circuit on the MotoGP calendar to become the host of the Japanese Grand Prix once again, and it has kept this status. The 4.8km track is known for setting the scene for lots of memorable and exciting racing moments thanks to its challenging layout of six left and eight right corners and various hard-braking and acceleration areas.
For those who want to get to know the Mobility Resort Motegi track better, check out this week‘s MotoGP eSport video.
The Grand Prix of Japan is held in the GMT +9 time zone. FP1 will take place on Friday from 10:45 - 11:30 local track time and Practice will be held from 15:00 – 16:00. On Saturday, FP2 will be held from 10:10 - 10:40, and the qualifying sessions from 10:50 - 11:30, followed by the Sprint that starts at 15:00. On Sunday, Warm Up is held from 10:40 - 10:50 and the Race starts at 15:00.