Practice report

MotoGP Japanese GP: Binder tops FP2, Marquez and Quartararo crash

KTM’s Brad Binder beat Motegi's long-standing lap record to top second practice for the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as both Marc Marquez and Fabio Quartararo crashed.

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

After it made its race debut at the San Marino GP with wildcard Dani Pedrosa, KTM has brought its new carbon fibre chassis to Japan for factory riders Binder and Jack Miller.

With the new chassis offering better rear grip on the RC16, Binder used this to maximum effect on the soft rear tyre at the end the second practice to go fastest of all with a 1m43.489s, beating the eight-year-old lap record set by Jorge Lorenzo.

Binder headed championship leader Francesco Bagnaia by 0.029 seconds, while Aleix Espargaro completed the top three for Aprilia, the top three all surpassing Lorenzo's 2015 benchmark.

The Q1 session in qualifying will feature all three previous champions prior to Bagnaia in 2022, as crashes for Yamaha’s Quartararo and Honda’s Marquez left both outside of the top 10.

Joan Mir will also join that trio having been unable to replicate his top five form from FP1 in the afternoon.

The early pace was set by the sister factory Aprilia of Maverick Vinales, who got the ball rolling with a 1m45.837s before improving to a 1m45.219s.

Binder then hit the top of the times 1m45.060s, before Pramac’s Jorge Martin took over with a 1m44.724s inside the first 10 minutes of the 75-minute session.

This stood as the benchmark until just under half an hour to go, when Miguel Oliveira on the RNF Aprilia went top with a 1m44.498s.

Aleix Espargaro went faster with a 1m44.387s 15 minutes later as his lap signalled the beginning of the soft tyre time attack phase of the session.

He was immediately deposed by Binder on a 1m44.255s, before Gresini Ducati rider Fabio Di Giannantonio – whose future remains uncertain amid rumours of Marquez taking his seat – made a surprise leap to the top of the order with a 1m43.947s.

Espargaro made one more bid to secure top spot with a 1m43.784s in the closing four minutes, but could do nothing to repel Binder’s charge to a 1m43.489s.

Bagnaia threatened Binder’s position on his last flying lap, but came up 0.029s short as Espargaro held onto third from FP1 pacesetter Martin and VR46 Ducati’s Marco Bezzecchi.

Di Giannantonio secured a rare Q2 appearance in sixth from Pramac’s Johann Zarco and Vinales, while Pol Espargaro (Tech3 GasGas) and KTM’s Miller – who crashed midway through the session – rounded out the top 10.

Oliveira found himself shuffled out of the top 10 in the end in 11th ahead of Mir – who is riding Honda’s 2024 chassis this weekend – and Quartararo, who suffered an odd but heavy fall on the kerbs on the way into Turn 6 in the latter stages.

Marquez crashed at Turn 1 as he pushed for a place in the top 10 and wound up 14th instead, while Franco Morbidelli was under a tenth clear of Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow in 15th.

Alex Rins only completed six laps on his LCR Honda as he struggles through his return from a lengthy injury-forced spell on the sidelines, and was last on the timesheets.

LCR has since announced Rins will take no further part in the remainder of the weekend, and is set to be replaced by Honda test rider Stefan Bradl.

MotoGP Japanese GP - FP2 results:

Driver Info
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Speed Trap
1 South Africa B. Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 22 1'43.489   167.009 315
2 Italy F. Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 22 +0.029 0.029 166.962 314
3 Spain A. Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 20 +0.295 0.266 166.534 309
4 Spain J. Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 24 +0.354 0.059 166.439 313
5 Italy M. Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 25 +0.456 0.102 166.276 315
6 Italy F. Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing 49 Ducati 21 +0.458 0.002 166.273 305
7 France J. Zarco Pramac Racing 5 Ducati 21 +0.573 0.115 166.089 314
8 Spain M. Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 24 +0.628 0.055 166.001 314
9 Spain P. Espargaro Tech 3 44 KTM 19 +0.730 0.102 165.839 313
10 Australia J. Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 23 +0.772 0.042 165.772 312
11 Portugal M. Oliveira RNF Racing 88 Aprilia 24 +0.828 0.056 165.683 313
12 Spain J. Mir Repsol Honda Team 36 Honda 21 +0.939 0.111 165.507 311
13 France F. Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 21 +1.031 0.092 165.361 309
14 Spain M. Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 23 +1.085 0.054 165.276 310
15 Italy F. Morbidelli Yamaha Factory Racing 21 Yamaha 20 +1.168 0.083 165.145 311
16 United Kingdom C. Crutchlow Yamalube RS4GP Racing Team 35 Yamaha 22 +1.220 0.052 165.063 311
17 Spain R. Fernández RNF Racing 25 Aprilia 17 +1.322 0.102 164.902 309
18 Japan T. Nakagami Team LCR 30 Honda 23 +1.439 0.117 164.718 309
19 Spain A. Fernandez Tech 3 37 KTM 24 +1.742 0.303 164.244 306
20 Italy M. Pirro Ducati Team 51 Ducati 22 +2.377 0.635 163.259 308
21 Spain A. Rins Team LCR 42 Honda 6 +3.747 1.370 161.173 311
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