Marcos Ramirez seventh and Rory Skinner 25th at Motegi in the #JapaneseGP
Quickly finding his feet on Friday, Marcos improved by over a second from FP1 to FP2 to secure another direct Q2 appearance in sixth position. The Spaniard carried his momentum into Saturday’s proceedings, briefly topping the timings in final practice until his lap was cancelled due to yellow flags, to finish sixth. In another characteristically close Qualifying for Moto2 with only one second covering 16 riders, Marcos ended the session six-tenths off pole position and in 12th spot.
As the race got underway, Marcos dropped three places into 15th spot before beginning his charge back through the pack, picking off four riders before the end of lap six. Capitalising on the mistakes of Joe Roberts and Sam Lowes, he improved a further two places to move into the top 10 before a crash for Sergio Garcia promoted him to eighth.
Moving his way past Alonso Lopez for seventh place on lap 11, Marcos began chasing down sixth spot for the remaining eight laps but, with a two-second gap, the Spaniard brought his bike home in an impressive seventh place with nine more points in hand. His best result since the Aragon Grand Prix in 2020 where he finished in sixth.
Faced with another brand-new circuit, Rory made a steady start to Friday, improving by almost a second across the session as he familiarised himself with the track. The Scot continued to improve in Saturday’s final practice, shaving a further six-tenths off his time to finish in 25th. A tricky Q1 for Rory saw him end Qualifying in 13th place, less than two seconds off the brand-new pole position time, to line up 27th on the grid.
It was a difficult start for Rory as he dropped three positions in the four laps of the race. Picking his way forward, the Scot moved up into 24th place as he made his way past Mattia Casadei. However, due to yellow flags, he had to drop one position back behind the Italian.
Rory quickly made his way back past Casadei where he remained, taking the chequered flag in 25th spot.
Marcos Ramirez #24 – 7th
Overall, the weekend was really good, and we were consistent. We wanted more in Qualifying, but we didn’t have the feeling but, in the race, I felt good, and I made a good comeback so I’m really happy with that. Hopefully, we can keep this feeling into the next triple header.
Rory Skinner #33 – 25th
I really enjoyed Japan, it’s such a cool place and, for my first time here, it’s an amazing country to visit. Over the weekend, it’s been difficult but I think I have to look at the bigger picture. The last few weekends from Austria through to India have actually been OK, I’ve made some solid improvements through them all and it’s been nice but I think this weekend, it just didn’t quite click for me, I don’t know what it was and I struggled to make forward progress in the race no matter what I did with my riding. I just couldn’t make that next step. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a very good race and not one I’m happy with but it’s another 19 laps under my belt and it’s food for thought for the future and gives me something to build on. We’ll continue to try our best and keep working.