Johann Zarco says he was happy to give Francesco Bagnaia a helping hand in the MotoGP title race rather than push for a Thailand Grand Prix victory on Sunday.

Miguel Oliveira secured his second win of the season on a wet day in Buriram following a delayed start due to heavy rain, with Bagnaia third behind Jack Miller.

Zarco moved up to fourth as he thrived in drier conditions late in the race, but the Pramac Racing rider resisted the temptation to push for victory at the risk of damaging Bagnaia's title hopes.

With Fabio Quartararo only able to finish 17th, Ducati's Bagnaia reduced the defending champion's lead in the standings to only two points with three races to go.

Zarco said: "I was waiting for it to get drier, but it came a bit too late. The amount of water at the beginning of the race was difficult for me.

"The others had a bit more pace and I could not attack too much, I was sliding, so I've lost positions.

"Then it took time to get dry, if it could get dry a bit earlier I would have taken the advantage much earlier and could think about the victory.

"Four laps from the end I was there and two laps from the end almost fighting for the podium, but also hesitating a bit with Pecco as he is doing a great championship.

"I didn't want to make a mistake in the Ducati group. I was really hoping for victory today in these conditions, but I stayed fourth and it's good enough for me."

He added: "It's kind of being clever in the championship. I have lost too many points many races ago.

"I need to race to try to catch a victory, but I have nothing to fight for [in the championship battle], so that's why.

"We are a big group at Ducati, I think if we can sometimes give help in some way, I'm pretty glad the race has been like that."

Aleix Espargaro finished back in 11th and is 20 points adrift of Quartararo, while rookie Marco Bezzecchi crossed the line in 16th after starting on pole for the first time.

Fabio Quartararo endured a Thailand Grand Prix nightmare as Miguel Oliveira secured his second victory of the season on a wet Sunday in Buriram.

Quartararo's lead over Francesco Bagnaia in the battle for the MotoGP title is down to only two points with three races to go after the reigning champion could only finish 17th.

Bagnaia had been 18 points adrift of the championship leader after crashing out on the final lap in Japan last weekend, but reduced the deficit by taking third place at the Chang International Circuit, where Aleix Espargaro finished back in 11th

Oliveira secured a brilliant win after starting back in 11th, with Jack Miller second and Bagnaia holding on for the final podium spot under pressure from Johann Zarco and Marc Marquez.

Rookie Marco Bezzecchi retained his lead following a delayed start due to heavy rain, but had to drop into second behind Miller as punishment for exceeding track limits at Turn 1.

Quartararo plummeted from fourth to 17th on the opening lap, with title rival Bagnaia briefly in second before Miller passed him.

Espargaro made contact with Brad Binder early in another exhilarating race, with Luca Marini sliding off into the gravel and Oliveira moving into second spot as the track dried out.

Marquez surged into fourth place as Quartararo continued to struggle, while Espargaro's title hopes suffered another blow when he was given a long-lap penalty for his clash with Binder.

Oliveira powered past Miller to take the lead 11 laps from the finish and there was no catching the Red Bull KTM rider, as he won for the first time since the second round of the season in Indonesia.

TOP 10

1. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) 41:44.503
2. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.703
3. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +1.968
4. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +2.490
5. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +2.958
6. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) +13.257
7. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +14.566
8. Alex Marquez (LCR Honda) +14.861
9. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +15.365
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +18.097

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 219
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 217
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 199
4. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 180
5. Jack Miller (Ducati) 179

Teams

1. Ducati 398
2. Aprilia Racing 321
3. Red Bull KTM 285
4. Pramac Racing 278
5. Monster Energy Yamaha 250

Aleix Espargaro is ready to adopt an "all or nothing" approach in Sunday's Thailand Grand Prix, with his MotoGP title hopes hanging by a thread.

A poor qualifying session saw the Aprilia rider miss out on Q2 and he will begin the race from 13th, while he stands 25 points behind championship leader Fabio Quartararo.

With just four races remaining on the schedule, time is running out for Espargaro to launch an assault on the title, and he is hoping for rain to turn the tide in his favour on Sunday.

"The difference is not an abyss, but I have to drive perfectly all the time. It will be a very difficult race for me, but I think it is not as negative as it seems," Espargaro said after qualifying.

"Anything can happen in the race. It can rain, it can be flag to flag, so I don't lose hope, and we have to cut distances as it is.

"The only thing that is clear to me is that tomorrow if it rains it is all or nothing. There have been races where you had to finish and get points, but tomorrow, if God gives us an opportunity with a flag to flag, or with rain, we have to go to the top because it is one of the few options we have."

India will stage a MotoGP race for the first time in 2023 as top-tier international motorsport returns to the Buddh International Circuit.

It was confirmed on Friday that the venue in Uttar Pradesh that staged three Formula One races from 2011 to 2013 would host the world's fastest riders on two wheels at the Grand Prix of Bharat.

According to organisers, India is a country where there are over 200 million motorcycles on the roads, making it a prime location to stage world-class racing.

India's sports minister Anurag Thakur said: "It's a historical day for sporting industry and tribute to 75th year of India's celebration."

The race weekend is provisionally scheduled for September 22-24 2023.

Dorna, the commercial rights holder for MotoGP, said it was "very proud" to be taking the sport to India, describing the country as "a key market for the motorcycle industry" and "the pinnacle of the two-wheeled world" for motorsport.

Speaking to Stats Perform, Dorna chief sporting officer Carlos Ezpeleta described India as "one of our key targets that we have had for quite some time".

He said the experience of other championships in India had been "quite challenging", with F1 having notably pulled out after its brief dalliance with holding races in the country.

Ezpeleta added: "We're now excited that this opportunity has come and it's a huge market for the motorcycle industry, and also for MotoGP as a sport, as a property with a huge potential to grow the fan base of the sport over there, which is already strong."

Although Formula One did not stay long, Ezpeleta sees MotoGP as having greater potential for sustained success.

He said: "I think that on the championship side, MotoGP is something which is probably a better fit for the Indian market, in terms of how the bigger part of the population can relate to itself and see the motorbike as something which is aspirational to them."

A first MotoGP in Kazakhstan will be staged next year after a five-year deal was agreed.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that the new Sokol International Racetrack will stage the race from 2023.

The circuit is just outside Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty and will be the 74th venue to host a race in the premier class.

A MotoGP statement said: "The region will be a new pitstop for MotoGP as the sport continues to expand around the world, engaging with new markets and fanbases.

"Kazakhstan will also become the 30th country to host a motorcycle Grand Prix since 1949, a perfect landmark number to celebrate the ever-expanding history of the world's first motorsport World Championship, and Sokol International Racetrack will be the 74th venue to host a premier class Grand Prix."

Francesco Bagnaia apologised to his team after a last-lap crash at the Grand Prix of Japan struck a blow to his MotoGP title hopes.

The Italian was going all out to try and pass championship leader Fabio Quartararo in Motegi on Sunday, but found himself in the gravel following a costly mistake.

Quartararo finished eighth, extending his lead over Bagnaia to 18 points with four rounds to go following a race that was won by Jack Miller.

Ducati team manager Davide Tardozzi revealed Bagnaia was quick to hold his hands up for his error.

"He has already said that he's sorry for the mistake he made," Tardozzi told BT Sport.

"He was not able to accelerate out of the corner like the other Ducatis. We need to know why. His front tyre overheated so he could not brake hard.

"When it cooled down he was able to recover and gain something on the brakes."

Tardozzi says Bagnaia needed to think of the bigger picture.

"Yes. The goal was obvious." he added.

"You start the year trying to win as many races as possible. But at a certain point you have to think about the championship.

"You look to [the other] contender. Since Aragon, we look to Fabio every week. Losing two points is better than losing eight points."

Fellow title contender Aleix Espargaro also endured a nightmare, starting from the pits rather than sixth place as he had to change his bike before the start due to a technical issue and finished way back in 16th.

Espargaro said: "They made a mistake, and they didn't remove the fuel-saving map which doesn't allow you to go over 4-5,000 RPM or more than 100k per hour.

"I tried everything, but it was not working."

He added: "I changed bikes in the pits, but the second bike had the soft rear tyre [instead of the medium] and I can't ride with that tyre.

"I knew it from the beginning. The bike was just pushing the front. I was also very nervous and making a lot of mistakes, so I decided to stay out on track just to wait for a red flag or whatever. But it didn't arrive."

Jack Miller stormed to his first victory of the season and Francesco Bagnaia's MotoGP title hopes suffered a blow when he crashed on the last lap of the Grand Prix of Japan.

Ducati rider Miller dominated a dramatic race on a dry Sunday in Motegi to the chequered flag, with Brad Binder second and Jorge Martin edging out Marc Marquez to take his place on the podium.

Fabio Quartararo could only finish eighth, but it proved to be a good day for the championship leader as title rival Bagnaia ended up in the gravel when he tried to pass the Frenchman from ninth place.

That costly mistake left Quartararo leading by 18 points with four rounds to go, with third-placed Aleix Espargaro having endured the nightmare of starting from the pits rather than six place as he had to change his bike before the start due to technical issue and finished way back in 16th.

Marquez claimed his first pole for three years on a wet Saturday, but it was Binder who got off to a dream start as he bolted from third on the grid to hit the front.

Martin then passed Binder, but Miller took the lead with 22 laps to go and never looked like losing it in a brilliant ride from the Australian.

There was a yellow flag after Takuya Tsuda retired with his bike on fire in his homeland and Marquez was scenting a 100th podium in the premier class in his 150th race when he moved ahead of Miguel Oliveira into fourth place.

Binder then passed Martin late on to take second before Bagnaia paid the price for pushing a little too hard on the last lap, missing out on points in a stunning finale.

Miller, who started in seventh spot, eased to his fourth MotoGP victory and eight-time world champion Marquez had to settle for an impressive fourth spot in his second race back following a fourth operation on his right arm.

Marc Marquez savoured his first pole position for three years at the Grand Prix of Japan but is realistic about his chances of winning the race on Sunday.

Marquez only returned following a three-month absence in the last round at Aragon after undergoing a fourth operation on his right arm.

The Repsol Honda rider was back in business on a wet Saturday in Motegi, where there was a 90-minute delay to the schedule due to heavy rain before the Spaniard clocked a fastest lap of one minute, 55.214 seconds to take his first pole for 1,071 days.

Johann Zarco took second place behind the six-time MotoGP champion, with Brad Binder securing third for a race that is forecast to be run in drier conditions.

Championship leader Fabio Quartararo could only qualify in ninth, with Aleix Espargaro the best placed of the title contenders in sixth and Francesco Bagnaia back in 12th.

Marquez was thrilled to finally put himself at the front of the grid and hopes his exploits can give his team a lift, but knows it will be a different story come race day.

He said: "I'm really happy to be back in pole position. It's only pole position, it's in wet, but in the situation we are in right now with team right now, it's really good news for us.

"We need the small achievements, we need the motivations. I'm happy, it was the time to do it. I feel like in FP2 the lap time was coming and if it's wet in the afternoon I have a big chance.

"That's what I did, I tried to attack and I did a good lap, I didn't exaggerate but it was enough to be on pole position. Tomorrow will be a different story, but today we must be happy."

Enea Bastianini's hopes of stepping up a title challenge were rocked by a crash in Q1. He is set to start 15th.

 

PROVISIONAL GRID

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) – 1:55.214
2. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +0.208s
3. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.323s
4. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia) +0.406s
5. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +0.472s
6. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +0.557s
7. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.570s
8. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.681s
9. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +1.112s
10. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) +1.140s

Fabio Quartararo was left feeling "sore and burned" after crashing out of the Aragon Grand Prix – not helped by a second collision involving a scooter.

The MotoGP championship leader hit the rear of Marc Marquez on the exit of turn five on the opening lap in Sunday's action-packed race and slid along the asphalt.

Quartararo, who now has just one podium finish in his past five races, later revealed he was involved in another accident as he made his way to the Yamaha garage.

"After the crash a marshal hit the scooter. I had a second crash. It was quite fast actually," he told reporters. "Luckily I hadn't taken off my helmet.

"But the marshal just hit face to face with another scooter, quite fast. I didn't have any damage from that crash. Everything I have [injury-wise] is from the first crash. 

"I'm feeling sore and burned. It's a shame because it's the first time I've felt good in Aragon in many years and crashing in the third corner was not the best."

Stuttering Quartararo's lead over Francesco Bagnaia now stands at just 10 points with five races of a gripping season left to go.

That gap could have been reduced to five points, but Bagnaia was overtaken by Enea Bastianini on turn seven of the final lap as his four-race winning streak came to an end.

"Our race was good; I did my best," Bagnaia said. "Enea did an incredible job. He was very competitive throughout the weekend and I knew he and Fabio were the fastest. 

"Fabio unfortunately crashed on the first lap, but in any case I just tried to do my best.

"On the last lap I felt that I wasn't able to overtake Enea again, because I was already taking too many risks in the previous laps. So the 20 points are important."

Gresini rider Bastianini avenged his slim loss at the San Marino Grand Prix two weeks ago by finishing 0.042 seconds ahead of Bagnaia for his fourth victory of the season.

Bastianini, who started third on the grid, said: "It's almost like a dream. I made some mistakes during the race.

"But in the end I ended up approaching [Bagnaia] and on the last lap I had the opportunity to attack, and I managed to win."

Aleix Espargaro held off Jack Miller and Brad Binder to complete the podium, but fellow home favourite Marquez failed to finish in his first competitive race since May.

Marquez also ended Takaaki Nakagami's race and apologised to both the Japanese and Quartararo after the race.

"I lost the rear in turn three and Fabio made contact. When I engaged the holeshot device later in the lap, the bike locked and moved to the left," he said.

"I think that was because there was a piece of Fabio's bike in the rear. It was really unlucky and I want to apologise to both Taka and Fabio."

Francesco Bagnaia moved to within 10 points of MotoGP championship leader Fabio Quartararo on Sunday, despite finishing second to Enea Bastianini in a thrilling Aragon Grand Prix.

Ducati's Bagnaia was aiming to become the first rider since Marc Marquez in 2019 to win five races in a row and looked good value to achieve that heading into the final lap.

But in the latest tense battle between the pair, Gresini rider Bastianini took the lead from Bagnaia on turn seven to claim his fourth victory of the season.

Bagnaia had to settle for 20 points, which further increases the pressure on the faltering Quartararo, who crashed out early on and has just one podium finish in his past five races.

Aleix Espargaro held off Jack Miller and Brad Binder, who had earlier climbed from 10th to third, to complete the podium with an impressive performance on home soil

The first big twist arrived on the first lap when Quartararo hit the rear of Marc Marquez, competing for the first time since May, and was unable to continue.

Takaaki Nakagami was fortunate to avoid serious injury soon after when unintentionally struck by Marquez, who was forced to retire in a disappointing return to action.

Further up the grid, Bagnaia and Bastianini engaged in another battle and, unlike in San Marino last week, it was the latter who came out on top on this occasion.

Having temporarily taken the lead a little earlier before gifting it straight back, Bastianini made a sensational move on Bagnaia late on to win the race.

The battle for third was just as entertaining, with Espargaro making his move on Binder with two laps to go to move within 17 points of leader and reigning champion Quartararo.

Francesco Bagnaia produced "one of the best laps" of his career to set a new record and claim pole position for Sunday's Aragon Grand Prix.

The Ducati star is this weekend seeking to become the first rider to win five races in a row since Marc Marquez in 2019 and the first Italian since Valentino Rossi in 2008.

Bagnaia set an all-time lap record at the Gran Premio Animoca Brands de Aragon on Saturday with a time of 1:46.069 – 0.090 seconds faster than team-mate Jack Miller.

The 25-year-old was victorious at Aragon last year, snapping a run of nine wins in a row for Spanish riders, and looks in good shape to extend his superb form on Sunday.

"I'm very happy about the lap time because I think it's one of the best laps I've ever had," he said after qualifying. "Everything was perfect.

"I was just a bit scared in corner two because I was knowing that the best lap time was on the first attempt but on corner two the front tyre was a bit too cold. 

"When I entered I was feeling that the front was closing a bit. That was the only worry to think about because everything else was perfect."

Bagnaia has closed the gap on championship leader Fabio Quartararo from 91 points to just 30 with six race weekends to go.

Quartararo has claimed only one podium finish in his past four grands prix and will start Sunday's race in sixth after losing time on the final sector.

Asked what can be done to avoid a similar outcome happening again, the Yamaha rider joked: "There is no legal plan! It's like this, we know. 

"We used video analysis in the last corner to see, and we don't lose [time there]. So we know where the four tenths is being lost. If you add that up over 23 laps, it's quite a lot."

Bagnaia's future colleague Enea Bastianini finished third in qualifying to continue his strong run since the mid-season break.

Gresini rider Bastianini has finished on the podium in four races this season, which is double the number managed last season.

Bagnaia pipped Bastianini to victory in a dramatic San Marino GP last time out, but he does intend to engage in any unnecessary battles this time around. 

"He's very fast," Bagnaia said of Bastianini. "I think if he has the chance to win tomorrow and if he gets away, I'm not going to go crazy trying to stay with him.

"Of course, it's important to bring back a lot of points, but it's also true that we're coming to a phase of the championship where it's essential to bring back results.

"I already made too many mistakes at the beginning of the year, so we have to understand that and try not to repeat them."

Bastianini is fourth in the overall standings, albeit 73 points behind leader Quartararo, but is happy with his performances in recent races.

"Since the summer break I've been stronger in the qualifying, but the reality is that I don't know why," he said.

"It's better for me and I think my feeling with the bike is fantastic from Silverstone. We have been fast in all the races and this is the most important for me. 

"The first row is important for me to do a great race. I have to manage the first part of the race well and at the end there is the possibility that the tyre will be destroyed."


PROVISIONAL GRID

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) – 1:46.069
2. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.090s
3. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) +0.244s
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +0.521s
5. Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) +0.577s
6. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.733s
7. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) +0.783s
8. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) +0.842s
9. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.843s
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.855s

Fabio Quartararo was left "more than angry" after Francesco Bagnaia closed the gap in the battle for the MotoGP title by winning the San Marino Grand Prix,

Bagnaia became the first Ducati rider to win four successive races with victory in Misano after holding off the pressure from future team-mate Enea Bastianini.

Championship leader Quartararo had to settle for fifth on Sunday after starting the race in eighth before two riders crashed out in front of him.

Quartararo battled with Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro, who the Frenchman managed to overtake by lap six.

He could not make any further progress, though, and was left frustrated after Bagnaia cut his advantage to 30 points in the championship standings.

"That was the limit," said Quartararo, who finished over five seconds behind Bagnaia. "More than angry, I was really frustrated, because I gave my 100 per cent and could not fight for more.

"Any more than that and I think I would be on the floor… we arrived really on the limit of our bike today.

"There was no problem, that's the thing. If you check the pace, I had the same pace as practice. I felt quite good on the bike.

"I made a really good race today, but it's only P5 and five seconds from the top. So we are not in a great position."

Quartararo heads into the final six rounds of the 2022 season with mixed feelings as he battles with Bagnaia and third-placed A;eix Espargaro, who has 33 points to make up.

"No, I will not say I'm worried [about the championship], but I'm also not calm," he said. "I have just been more consistent than Pecco [Bagnaia], but in the speed we are so slow."

Bagnaia says he will only begin dreaming of the championship when within touching distance of the Yamaha rider.

"I've already made too many mistakes [this season] thinking about the championship," Bagnaia said.

"My objective is to now be always competitive, always fast, always in front and try to win.

"I don't want to think about the championship, just to be more focused on my objective and to remain focused on the schedule during the weekend. I prefer to think like that."

Francesco Bagnaia claimed a dramatic victory at the San Marino Grand Prix after holding off future team-mate Enea Bastianini in Misano.

The 14th race of the MotoGP World Championship went right down to the wire between the two Italians, who will team up at Ducati for the 2023 season.

But despite intense pressure from his compatriot over the final few laps, Bagnaia held his nerve to prevail by a mere 0.034 seconds.

In closing the gap on championship leader Fabio Quartararo, who finished fifth, to 30 points Bagnaia becomes the first Ducati rider to win four successive races.

Maverick Vinales completed the podium, while Andrea Dovizioso finished 12th in the final race of his MotoGP career.

Following a three-place grid penalty in qualifying, Bagnaia started in P5 with Jack Miller having ensured his first pole in four years.

However, the Australian fell in just the second lap after slipping at turn four, while Marco Bezzecchi followed a few turns later.

Bagnaia first led in lap three with Bastianini, Vinales and Luca Marini for company, and Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro further back.

As Marini fell away, a couple of untidy corners saw Vinales also lose ground with eight laps to go; setting up a straight race between Bagnaia and Bastianini for the chequered flag.

Though Bastianini gradually closed the gap over the final four laps, he missed a couple of opportunities to pass as a stubborn Bagnaia held out to maintain his winning streak by the finest of margins.

"I struggled at the start because the grip was not so high," he said. "I was struggling to find some traction. But my feeling with the tyres was getting better lap by lap.

"In the last laps, I was trying to push to open a gap, but Enea was too fast. I'm very happy to win today. It wasn't the best start from P5, but we did it."

TOP 10

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati)
2. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) +0.034
3. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +4.212
4. Luca Marini (Ducati) +5.283
5. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +5.771
6. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +10.230
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +12.496
8. Brad Binder (KTM) +14.661
9. Jorge Martin (Ducati) +17.732
10. Alex Marquez (Honda) +21.986

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) - 211
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) - 181
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) - 178
4. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) - 138
5. Johann Zarco (Ducati) - 125

Teams

1. Ducati - 279
2. Aprilia Racing - 253
3. Monster Energy Yamaha - 226
4. Pramac Racing - 212
5. Red Bull KTM - 192

Jack Miller claimed a long-awaited pole position and Aleix Espargaro was left "angry and disappointed" after he could only qualify in ninth at the San Marino Grand Prix.

Ducati rider Miller will start at the front of the grid for the first time in four years after he clocked a quickest lap of one minute and 31.889 seconds on a rainy Saturday in Misano.

Francesco Bagnaia was second-fastest - but will start in fifth after being handed a three-place grid penalty - and Enea Bastianini third, with MotoGP championship leader Fabio Quartararo only eighth.

Espargaro, who trails Quartararo by 32 points, will begin Sunday's race in ninth place and says he was not prepared to take any risks in tricky conditions after a crash at Silverstone last month left him with a fractured heel.

Aprilia Racing's Espargaro knows he will have to take a more aggressive approach on race day.

He said: "My guys said, 'Fabio is [just] in front of you'. But I don't care. This is a very special GP. I want to finish on the podium because it's the home race of Aprilia."

The Spaniard added: "When I left pit lane I felt a mix of angry and disappointed. Because to ride in these conditions is very tricky, very dangerous,

"I touched a white line in the first lap and almost flew [off]. So I tried to focus and make no mistakes, go as fast as possible but without risk. And maybe I had to risk a little bit more because ninth place is not good.

"I didn't want to make a stupid mistake like I did in Silverstone, because there are still a lot of points, a lot of races, a lot of days in front of us. It's just qualifying.

"But obviously if it rains tomorrow, I will have to risk a bit more because you get the points, not today.

"I know that if I want to fight for the championship, I need to finish on the podium. So this is what I'm aiming for."

Andrea Dovizioso will start his final MotoGP race before retiring back in 18th.

 

PROVISIONAL GRID

1. Jack Miller (Ducati) 1:31.889
2. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing)  + 0.115
3. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.149
4. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) + 0.219
5..Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) + 0.115
6. Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) + 0.270
7. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.327
8. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) + 0.347
9. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) + 0.678
10. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.876

Joan Mir has signed a two-year deal to become compatriot Marc Marquez's Repsol Honda team-mate.

Suzuki Ecstar rider Mir will join Marquez at Honda for the 2023 and 2024 MotoGP seasons.

The 24-year-old agreed to make the move after Suzuki confirmed this will be their last season competing in the premier class.

Mir, the 2020 MotoGP world champion, follows his team-mate Alex Rins in switching from Suzuki to Honda.

The Spaniard is relishing his next challenge and is determined to finishing this season strongly when he has recovered from an ankle injury that will keep him out of the San Marino Grand Prix this weekend.

He said: "I'm very excited to officially announce that I will join the Repsol Honda Team next year.

"Thanks to HRC for trusting me and giving me the opportunity to defend these historic colours, which are full of history and world titles.

"We will take advantage of all my experience accumulated over the years in MotoGP with Suzuki to contribute as much as possible to the project and to fight together to become world champions again.

"Now it's time to continue focused on my recovery to return to the circuits as soon as possible and have a great end of the season with Team Suzuki Ecstar."

Meanwhile, Aprilia Racing and RNF on Tuesday confirmed that Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Raul Fernandez (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) will be racing RS-GPs next season in the Noale factory's new Independent Team.

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