On the first day of practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, Jorge Martin of Pramac Ducati MotoGP led the timesheet. The top three riders in the standings maintained their places on the timing screens, but after Martin switched to a new hard front tyre, he moved ahead of points leader Pecco Bagnaia. But with nine minutes left, Martin's run came to an end when he went into the gravel after misjudging his speed for the Turn 3 left-hander and took a relatively low-speed fall. He was able to finish out the practice after returning to the track, although his time didn't improve. Marco Bezzecchi, riding for VR46 on the Ducati, produced a late adjustment that propelled him to third place behind Fernandez's Tech3 GasGas. Factory Ducati rider Bagnaia set the early pace with a time of 1:45.631s, but he was unable to improve on his time.
MotoGP Japanese GP: Free Practice 1 Result
A silver lining was Joan Mir's impressive fifth-place finish on the Honda, half a second behind Martin. Following him were Aprilia's Maverick Vinales, Jack Miller and Brad Binder, on the KTM.
Fabio Quartararo, the top Yamaha rider, finished ninth, 0.760 seconds behind the leader, while Marc Marquez, riding the second factory Honda, finished 13th, more than eight tenths back. Cal Crutchlow, a wildcard rider who will be making his MotoGP return at this weekend's Valencia GP, was the 18th fastest rider in practice on his Yamaha.
|1||Jorge Martin||Pramac Ducati||1'45.192s|
|2||Augusto Fernandez||Tech3 GASGAS||+0.138s|
|3||Marco Bezzecchi||Mooney VR46||+0.318s|
|4||Francesco Bagnaia||Ducati Lenovo||+0.439s|
|5||Joan Mir||Repsol Honda||+0.493s|
|6||Brad Binder||Red Bull KTM||+0.555s|
|7||Maverick Viñales||Aprilia Racing||+0.627s|
|8||Jack Miller||Red Bull KTM||+0.710s|
|9||Fabio Quartararo||Monster Yamaha||+0.760s|
|10||Raul Fernandez||RNF Aprilia||+0.774s|
|11||Johann Zarco||Pramac Ducati||+0.826s|
|12||Franco Morbidelli||Monster Yamaha||+0.835s|
|13||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda||+0.841s|
|14||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Gresini Ducati||+0.968s|
|15||Pol Espargaro||Tech3 GASGAS||+0.989s|
|16||Miguel Oliveira||RNF Aprilia||+1.006s|
|17||Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia Racing||+1.037s|
|18||Cal Crutchlow||Yamalube RS4GP||+1.110s|
|19||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda||+1.142s|
|20||Michele Pirro||Ducati Lenovo||+1.940s|
|21||Alex Rins||LCR Honda||+2.395s|
MotoGP Japanese GP: Cal Crutchlow Makes Wildcard Appearance for Yamaha
Cal Crutchlow, a Yamaha wildcard entry, came in 18th after the first day of practice in Japan. With a best racing finish of 12th at Sepang in 2020, the 37-year-old Englishman made 10 starts for Yamaha as a back-up rider in 2021 and 2022. Due to his role as Yamaha's official test rider, Crutchlow would make an ideal wildcard entry in MotoGP.
After retiring from full-time racing in 2021, Crutchlow joined Yamaha to work on fixing the bike's problems. Most of his time this year has been spent working on the bike's new wings, and he argues that trying to keep up with the other manufacturers in the series isn't the solution to the acceleration and grip problems that have plagued the one inline-four bike in the field.