Marc Marquez will be crowned champion if he wins the race, Valentino Rossi finishes 15th or lower and Jorge Lorenzo finishes off the podium.
Dani Pedrosa has won 5 times at Motegi: He was victorious last season and has two further wins in MotoGP in 2011 and 2012. He also triumphed in 2002 (125cc) and in 2004 (250cc).
Marquez has two Japanese GP wins in 125cc and Moto2, but his best results in MotoGP are respective second places in 2013 and 2014.
Repsol Honda team travel to Japan for the first of three consecutive Grands Prix, to be followed by races in Australia and Malaysia. Marquez comes into the weekend with a mathematical chance of winning the title.
Japan will host the fifteenth round of the 2016 MotoGP season this weekend, with the first of a three-race run on consecutive weekends that also takes in GPs in Australia and Malaysia. Marc Marquez arrives at Motegi off the back of an important victory at the Aragon Grand Prix, which gives him his first opportunity to become a five-time World Champion across the classes. He currently leads the premier class standings with 248 points and can clinch the title if he wins at Motegi, Valentino Rossi finishes 15th or lower and Jorge Lorenzo places off the podium. Dani Pedrosa –fourth overall with 155 points– returns to a track where he has won 5 times –the last being last year, when he achieved the 50th victory of his career.
“The triple-header always marks a demanding period in the season because there are three races in a row in different time zones and different conditions, so we must handle them calmly and with the same mind-set we have kept throughout this season. The Japanese Grand Prix is an important appointment for us as it is Honda’s home race and one where we have great memories, as we clinched the title in 2014. On the other hand, it’s a circuit that has always been a bit challenging for us. So for example, if Aragon was a track that I marked for attacking, Motegi is one that I marked for giving up as few points as possible. That said, we’ll approach it with an open mentality, aiming for the best result possible but ready to adapt to the circumstances.”
“Motegi is one of my favourite tracks, and in addition to the fact that it’s Honda’s home circuit, I’ve had good results there. Clearly, we want to get the best result possible in front of our Japanese fans, but we must arrive there and start working on the bike and the tyres to understand if we’ll be able to be as competitive as we have been lately. At this moment, the most important thing is to find the best combination between the tyres and the bike, with myself also in the formula of course, to try and start to go well beginning Friday.”