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.



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."


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



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


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.



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.

Joan Mir fractured his right ankle after crashing on the opening lap of the Austrian Grand Prix, but the Suzuki Ecstar rider "feels lucky" to have escaped further injuries.

The 2020 world champion was thrown off his bike and onto the gravel at turn four in Sunday's race and was taken to the Spielberg medical centre.

That was Mir's sixth abandonment of the season – more than in his two previous campaigns – with the Spaniard having now gone 14 races in a row without a podium finish.

While the incident did not appear too serious at the time, the extent of Mir's injuries was made clear shortly after the race, which was won by Francesco Bagnaia.

"I had a very big crash at turn four," he said. "I lost the rear and it was a high side. It could've been a lot worse, so I feel lucky.

"Initial checks show some bone fragments and fractures in my ankle. Tomorrow I'll go for further checks and an MRI to check the ligaments."

Bagnaia's victory was his third in a row – the first time he has achieved that in his MotoGP career – and saw the Italian close the gap on leader Fabio Quartararo to 44 points.

He is the first Ducati rider to secure a hat-trick of victories since Casey Stoner in 2008, and only the second Italian to do so after nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi.

There was a tinge of disappointment for Bagnaia, however, as Quartararo recovered from sixth to finish in second place and minimise the damage.

"I have to be happy," Bagnaia said in his post-race interview. "My team have done an incredible job.

"It was a long race today. I made too many mistakes in the first part of the year, so it was time for me to be more smart.

"When I looked at the gap, I tried to be cautious with the time laps as I was sure that my pace was good enough to open the gap, and in the last two laps I just tried to be calm."

Francesco Bagnaia made it three wins in a row for the first time in his MotoGP career by storming to victory at the Austrian Grand Prix to further boost his title hopes.

The Ducati rider came off the five-week break 66 points behind championship leader Fabio Quartararo, but that gap now stands at 44 points with seven races to go.

It could have been closed even further but Quartararo finished strongly to clinch second, while closest challenger Aleix Espargaro – 16th on Sunday – is 32 points adrift.

Bagnaia was quick off the mark to take the lead from Enea Bastianini, who was starting on pole for the first time in his career but failed to finish due to a deflated front tyre.

There was further drama on the opening lap as Joan Mir, starting in eighth, crashed out at turn four – his sixth abandonment of the season, and the most of any rider.

Jack Miller temporarily took the lead from Bagnaia with 21 laps to go, but the Italian instantly hit back and his fifth triumph of the season – a personal record – was never in doubt.

But in what could yet prove a big moment in the championship battle, Quartararo produced a late rally to climb from an early sixth into an eventual second place.

The reigning world champion climbed above Miller, who held on for third, while Jorge Martin recovered slightly from a crash early on the final lap to finish 10th.

Quartararo did not quite have enough left to catch Bagnaia, however, with half a second separating the pair in the end to ensure the title battle remains alive and well.

TOP 10

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati)
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.492
3. Jack Miller (Ducati) +2.163
4. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46) +8.348
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +8.821
6. Alex Espargaro (Aprilia) +11.287
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +11.642
8. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +11.780
9. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +16.987
10. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +17.144



1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) - 200
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) - 168
3. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) - 156
4. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) - 125
5. Jack Miller (Ducati) - 123


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

Enea Bastianini will start on pole for the first time in his MotoGP career at the Austrian Grand Prix after edging out Francesco Bagnaia for top spot.

Gresini Racing rider Bastianini beat Bagnaia's time by 0.024 seconds to claim his first premier class pole position.

Ducati's Jack Miller completed the front row, while Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro – the top two in the riders' standings – now face second and third-row starts respectively.

Bastianini was surprised to claim pole after leaving it late but is determined to start quickly on Sunday.

"It's been a long time without a pole position for me," he said. "I'm really happy for the team; we have prepared very well for the qualifying.

"I was fast in all the laps and made good paces; I was confident I would do a great job.

"To start in front is a surprise. It is looking good for tomorrow.

"Tomorrow, we have to be fast from the start. Usually I'm fast in the second part, so it's important to start fast. We will see tomorrow in the race."

Quartararo, who is 22 points ahead of Espargaro at the top of the riders' standings, will start from fifth on the grid after posting a time 0.231s slower than Bastianini's.

The Frenchman revealed he did not feel like he had full control of his bike, which again impacted his enjoyment of qualifying.

"In qualifying, in every corner, I don't know if I'm going to turn or if I'm going to go in the gravel, so that's the most difficult thing," he said.

"My front is moving so much, the bike is moving, and at the end I don't have 100 per cent control in the qualifying.

"On the race pace, we are always more or less good, but in qualifying I have no control. I'm just out of control, and this is a problem.

"In 2019 or even last year, I was much more consistent and better. But this year is a nightmare for us. I'm not enjoying qualifying like before."


1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) 1:28.772
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) + 0.024
3. Jack Miller (Ducati) + 0.109
4. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) + 0.186
5. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) + 0.231
6. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 0.274
7. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) + 0.363
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.483
9. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) + 0.483
10. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing) + 0.564

Andrea Dovizioso has announced that he will end his illustrious MotoGP career after the San Marino Grand Prix next month.

The Italian will not see the MotoGP season out with Yamaha, having won only 10 points from 11 rounds this year.

Dovizioso is 22nd in the championship standings after signing a full factory contract with the Iwata outfit for 2022 and has decided to quit after his home race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on September 4.

Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow will replace the 36-year-old for the final six rounds of the season, starting at the Aragon GP.

Lin Jarvis, managing director Yamaha Motor Racing, said: "I want to start by saying that, of course, we are all sad that Andrea will be leaving the sport earlier than expected. He is a big name in MotoGP, and he will be missed in the paddock.

"We considered ourselves very lucky last year that he was available and willing to join our MotoGP programme when Franky [Franco Morbidelli] switched to the Yamaha Factory Team thus creating the need for a replacement rider for the remainder of the 2021 season.

"Andrea's great expertise, experience, and methodical nature were of great interest to Yamaha and the RNF team and the project was fixed to include the full 2022 season.

"Unfortunately, Andrea has struggled to extract the maximum potential out of the M1 and thus the results have not been forthcoming, which has created understandable frustration for Andrea. Finally during the summer break, he confirmed to us his desire to retire before the end of the season.

"After mutual discussions it was deemed appropriate for Andrea to ride his final race in Misano at his home GP. Naturally, Yamaha will continue to give 'Dovi' their full support over the next three races. In the meantime, let's enjoy his last three GPs and celebrate in Misano the end of a spectacular career."

Dovizioso said: "I thank Lin for his words, I totally agree with them. In 2012, the experience with the Iwata manufacturer in MotoGP had been very positive for me and since then I have always thought that, sooner or later, I would have liked to have an official contract with Yamaha. This possibility presented itself, actually in a somewhat daring way, during 2021. I decided to give it a try because I strongly believed in this project and in the possibility of doing well.

"Unfortunately, in recent years the MotoGP has changed profoundly. The situation is very different since then: I have never felt comfortable with the bike, and I have not been able to make the most of its potential despite the precious and continuous help from the team and the whole of Yamaha. The results were negative, but beyond that, I still consider it a very important life experience. When there are so many difficulties, you need to have the ability to manage the situation and your emotions well.

"We did not reach the desired objectives, but the consultations with the Yamaha technicians and with those of my team have always been positive and constructive, both for them and for me. The relationship remained loyal and professionally interesting even in the most critical moments: it was not so obvious that that would happen.

"For all this and for their support, I thank Yamaha, my team and WithU, and the other sponsors involved in the project. It didn't go as we hoped, but it was right to try. My adventure will end in Misano, but the relationship with all the people involved in this challenge will remain intact forever. Thank you all.2

Dovizioso has won 24 races and has finished the season as a runner-up on three occasions in the premier class.

Suzuki have confirmed they will depart MotoGP at the end of the 2022 season after reaching an early release agreement with promoters Dorna.

The Japanese manufacturer previously indicated their intent to seek a withdrawal from the sport, citing economic difficulties behind their decision.

 Suzuki had been contracted to MotoGP through to 2026, having previously returned to the premier class in 2015 afterling quitting in 2011.

They have now been handed an early termination following negotiations, president Toshihiro Suzuki confirmed.

The company will also exit the World Endurance Championship - which includes the Le Mans 24 Hour race - at the end of the current campaign.

Suzuki last won the MotoGP title in 2020, their first for 20 decades, with Spanish rider Joan Mir crowned champion.

They will support both Mir and his team-mate Alex Rins - eighth and ninth in the standings respectively until the end of the season, with the pair currently eighth and ninth in the standings re

Fabio Quartararo lamented a "rookie mistake" after twice crashing at the Dutch TT to see the 2022 MotoGP title race blown wide open again.

The Monster Energy Yamaha rider's lead over Aleix Espargaro at the top of the standings was cut from 34 points to 21 after failing to finish Sunday's race in Assen.

After a near blemish-free season up to this point, reigning world champion Quartararo uncharacteristically clattered into Espargaro early on when pushing for second place.

Both riders ended in the gravel, but whereas Espargaro was able to make up significant ground to finish fourth, Quartararo again came off his bike on lap 12.

He lost grip on his rear tyre and was sent flying over his handlebars in a nasty fall, with this his first MotoGP retirement since Valencia 2020.

Quartararo apologised to Espargaro immediately after the race, which was won by Francesco Bagnaia, and took full blame for the contentious incident.

"I made a rookie mistake. I wanted to push too much from the beginning," he told Canal+. "I apologise to Aprilia and to Aleix for putting him out of the track.

"It's with these mistakes that you learn for the future, but it was a really stupid mistake. We could very well have set a very good pace and fought for the win. 

"These are mistakes that you learn from for the future. I wanted to restart and try to score some points, but I saw that the bike was a problem. 

"I stopped, the team told me to restart in case of rain, but when I restarted, I could see that something was wrong.

"I tried, but I don't know [what happened]. We have to analyse the crash, but I lost the rear a bit abruptly, so we'll see what they say. I made a rookie mistake."

Despite seeing his lead cut, Quartararo still holds a healthy advantage at the top of the riders' standings heading into the five-week break.

Espargaro produced the ride of the day – and one of the best individual rides of the season – to recover from 15th after being sent off the track by his title rival.

The Aprilia rider overtook Jack Miller and Brad Binder on the final lap to finish just outside the podium places, but he could not make a serious dent in Quartararo's title lead. 

"I was very strong in that place, and Fabio knew it," Espargaro said of the early collision. "The reason Fabio did his movement is because his feeling with the bike is super-high. 

"We saw it also in Germany, corner one with [the overtake on Bagnaia]. He's not a dirty rider, but his confidence is that high.

"Today, it's not that he was arrogant. But because he felt super, a lot faster than the rest, he made a bad judgment.

"I knew this could happen. From this moment I said to myself – Fabio is almost perfect, he made no mistakes during the season, so if he makes one mistake you have to profit."

Ducati's poleman Bagnaia led from the start to move back to within 66 points of Quartararo with nine rounds to go.

The Italian, who is fourth in the championship, now has three wins and three retirements in his past six races.

Bagnaia never looked like relinquishing first place to Marco Bezzecchi, although he admitted to being "terrified" of a third DNF in a row when rain hit late on in the Netherlands.

"Looking at the gap with Bezzecchi, he was always catching," Bagnaia said. "I had to push again, I had to open this gap again to be smarter and more calm again later in the race.

"But then the rain came. When I saw the rain, I just slowed down a bit, but Bezzecchi was pushing again.

"So, it was very difficult. I was terrified to crash again, so the main thing was to finish the race. It wasn't easy, but I tried to be smart, I tried to not push over the limit."

Francesco Bagnaia reignited his 2022 MotoGP title hopes with victory at a dramatic Dutch TT, in which championship leader Fabio Quartararo failed to finish.

Ducati rider Bagnaia had crashed out in four of the previous 10 races this year, but he took full advantage of pole position on Sunday by comfortably holding on to first place.

Quartararo endured a rare off day in Assen, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider finishing outside the points after twice crashing to see his championship lead cut.

Bagnaia is now 66 points behind the Frenchman heading into the five-week break, while Aleix Espargaro is within 21 points of top spot after making an exceptional recovery.

The drama at Circuit Assen started at Turn 5 when Quartararo, in an attempt to take second place from Espargaro, collided with his rival in a hugely contentious moment.

Both riders ended in the gravel before rejoining. But while Espargaro brilliantly made up ground, Quartararo was left with too much to do and crashed for a second time.

The reigning world champion high-sided out of Turn 5 and landed awkwardly, bringing an end to his race and marking his first MotoGP retirement since Valencia in 2020.

The rain started to fall soon after, adding even more drama to a race that had it all, though ultimately Bagnaia saw things through by holding off Marco Bezzecchi.

Jack Miller, who served a long lap penalty, was not able to join his Ducati team-mate on the podium as he failed to catch Maverick Vinales – his first top-three finish for Aprilia.

Miller was then overtaken by Espargaro, who also moved in front of Brad Binder to climb from sixth to fourth in an exceptional final lap as the title race was blown wide open.

TOP 10

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 
2. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +0.444s
3. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +1.209s
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +2.585
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +2.721s
6. Jack Miller (Ducati) +3.045s
7. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +4.340s
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.185s
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +8.325s
10. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.956s



1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 172
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 151
3. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 114
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 106
5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 105


1. Aprilia Racing 213
2. Monster Energy Yamaha 197
3. Ducati 197
4. Pramac Racing 184
5. Red Bull KTM 164

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