Brad Binder, MotoGP, Japanese MotoGP, 29 September
Brad Binder, MotoGP, Japanese MotoGP, 29 September

2023 Japanese MotoGP: Saturday Qualifying & Sprint - LIVE UPDATES

Reigning MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia leads the standings by just 13 points over Jorge Martin heading into the Motegi Sprint race after a costly fall in last Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix, where a dominant victory for Marco Bezzecchi moved the VR46 rider to within 44 points of the top.

The inaugural Buddh event also took its toll on the full-time riders, with two more - Alex Marquez (ribs) and Luca Marini (collarbone) - suffering fractures that will see them join Enea Bastianini in missing this weekend’s Japanese round.

Alex Rins, sidelined since Mugello in May due to leg fractures, attempted a return in Friday practice before being declared unfit due to the pain in his right leg.

HRC test rider Stefan Bradl will take over from Rins on Saturday, with Ducati test rider Michele Pirro continuing in place of Bastianini at Ducati.

Also on track is Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow, making his first official wild-card appearance since retiring at the end of 2020. The 37-year-old Englishman made ten starts as a replacement rider for Yamaha during 2021 and 2022, with a best race finish of 12th at Sepang last year.

Joan Mir will have one 2024 Honda prototype this weekend, as debuted at the Misano test, while factory KTM riders Brad Binder - fastest on Friday - and Jack Miller have the factory's new carbon fibre chassis available.

30 Sep 2023
Martin takes the Sprint at Motegi.

Martin wins the Japanese MotoGP sprint ahead of Binder and Bagnaia. 

Last lap

Martin has half a lap to go as he looks to make it three consecutive sprint wins. 


Mistake from Miller at turn 11 on lap 11 and Bagnaia is finally through on the Australian. 

Lap 10

Stunning defence from Miller as he holds off Bagnaia at turn 11. 


They've both ran wide and Zarco has taken advantage to move up to fifth. 

Lap 8

Marc Marquez is really struggling now as Marco Bezzecchi swoops through at turn 11.


Long Lap penalty for Cal Crutchlow. 

Lap 6

The closest battle in the top five is concerning third as Bagnaia continues to catch Miller. 

Lap 4

Binder is managing to stay with Martin but he can't get close enough to make a move.

Lap 1

Binder pounces on Miller for second and is charging after Martin. 


Brilliant start from Martin as he leads from Miller. Bagnaia is down to fourth as being overtaken by Brad Binder.


The formation lap is underway at Motegi. 


Jorge Martin will start from pole ahead of Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller. 


Good morning and welcome to Sprint race day at Motegi. Up next is the sprint in five minutes time. 


Jorge Martin is untouchable for pole position and will be joined on the front row by Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller.


Binder delivers to rise from 10th to 5th.


1min to go, front two rows: Martin, Bagnaia, Miller, Bezzecchi, di Giannantonio, Marquez.


But not for long. Bagnaia climbs to second and Bezzecchi to fourth.


Martin isn't able to improve but Marquez is towed from 6th to 4th.


Meanwhile Marc Marquez has picked new lap record holder Martin to follow on his final run.


Bagnaia improves from 8th to 3rd with Bezzecchi slotting into 7th on his first complete flying lap.