Marquez and Mir continue Far East adventure with a trip to Japan next on the overseas tour
Team Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS riders Alex Marquez and Joan Mir are excited to commence the most demanding phase of the 2018 Moto2 World Championship when the traditional fly-away triple header gets underway at Japan’s famous Twin Ring Motegi track this weekend.
Sunday’s 22-lap race encounter is the first of three overseas races for Alex Marquez and Joan Mir to tackle in the space of just three weeks, with Australia and Malaysia coming hot on the heels of the Japanese round, which is the 16th leg of this year’s World Championship.
The 4.8km Twin Ring Motegi is the showpiece attraction of a vast motorsport and leisure complex and it has been a permanent fixture on the calendar since 1999 and from 2004 onwards it has been identified as the Japanese Grand Prix, having been named the Pacific Grand Prix between 2000 and 2003.
Both Marquez and Mir are eager to get back on track in Japan to quickly forget the inaugural Thailand Grand Prix in which both fell when looking well placed to battle for the podium places.
The Twin Ring Motegi is a track that where Alex Marquez has produced some of the most memorable performances of his World Championship career to date and he can’t wait to fight for more glory this weekend.
Marquez celebrated taking his first victory in the Moto3 class in 2013 and one year later another stunning victory proved essential in helping him wrap up the World Championship title in 2014.
And his love affair with the track continued last season when he splashed his way to a sensational victory in torrential rain by almost 1.5s from his 2019 Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS teammate Xavi Vierge.
Joan Mir collected a top 10 finish on his first visit to the Twin Ring Motegi in 2016 and in treacherously wet conditions last season his 17th position was the only time he finished outside of the points during his unstoppable charge to the 2017 Moto title.
Moto2 free practice starts at 1055am local time on Friday morning and Marquez and Mir are scheduled to be in race action at 1220pm on Sunday.
Alex Marquez: 5th in the overall standings on 126 points
“I go to Japan 100% motivated to try and win again at a track that is so special for me”
“Japan is a very special race for me because it is where I won my first race in the World Championship in 2013. I’ve had three wins there including last year, but it is not a track I would say perfectly suits my style. I don’t know why I’ve been so strong there but hopefully I can be fast and competitive again this weekend to make a good race. I know we have the level to make and I go there 100% motivated to try and win again at a track that is so special for me.”
Joan Mir: 6th in the overall standings on 124 points
“I’m only thinking about making a good race in Japan”
“After the crash I had in Thailand, fortunately the medical checks said I was fine. It was sad, as I was sure I could have had a strong race after having some problems in practice. Now I’m only thinking about making a good race in Japan. Motegi is a track with a lot of strong braking zones and it will be the first of three races in a row, so we have to keep concentrated to make the most of them”.
Track facts / Twin Ring Motegi (Motegi, Japan)
Length: 2.983 miles (4.801 metres)
Width: 49.21 ft. (15 metres)
Corners: 6 (left) + 8 (right)
Longest straight: 2500 ft. (762 metres)
Moto2 Race: 22 laps, 65.6 miles (105.6 km)
Best pole: Johann Zarco (1'49.961 – 2016)
Circuit record: Franco Morbidelli (1'50.788 – 2016)
Top speed: Pol Espargaró, 164.6 mph (314.3 kph) – 2015)
2017 race winner: Alex Marquez (32:08.901)