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MotoGP Motegi 2023 schedule and preview – All dates and times for the Japanese GP

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A fall for Francesco Bagnaia in the last Grand Prix meant that the championship battle closed right up, as the gap between him and Jorge Martin was reduced to just thirteen points, with seven rounds of the season remaining. Motegi will host the next round of the championship, with all eyes on the big prize.

MotoGP Motegi 2023 schedule

Although all session will take place at very early times for the European fans of MotoGP, thanks to the time difference with Japan, the structure of the weekend will very much be the same as usual. The weekend contains two 45-minute-long free practice sessions, one on Friday morning and one on Saturday morning local time.

Between those two sessions, on Friday afternoon local time we will see a practice session which will last one hour, where the top ten riders will gain promotion to Q2 on Saturday. In terms of qualifying, after Free Practice 2 we will watch Q1, where two more riders will get promoted to Q2. Those fifteen-minute sessions will set the grid for both the Sprint and the Grand Prix.

The Sprint will take place on Saturday afternoon and is set to last twelve laps, with nine riders scoring points and the first earning twelve. The Grand Prix will be double that distance, as always and fifteen riders will be earn points, with the winner scoring 25.

Here is the schedule for the track action through the weekend. All times are BST (GMT +1).


Free Practice 1

Friday, September 29th

02:45 AM - 03:30 AM


Friday, September 29th

07:00 AM - 08:10 PM

Free Practice 2

Saturday, September 30th

02:10 AM - 02:40 AM

Qualifying 1

Saturday, September 30th

02:50 AM - 03:05 AM

Qualifying 2

Saturday, September 30th

03:15 AM - 03:30 AM


Saturday, September 30th

07:00 AM - 07:45 AM


Sunday, October 1st

07:00 AM - 07:50 PM

MotoGP Motegi 2023 weather prediction

Weather conditions will vary through the weekend, as each day could provide different weather. On Friday, the weather is expected to be good, with a very low chance of rain. That changes on Saturday though, as precipitation is currently estimated at 90%, while temperatures will be around 27 degrees Celsius. For Sunday, rain is not expected to be as severe, but it could very well feature during the race.

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MotoGP Motegi 2023 preview

Last time out, in the first Indian Grand Prix, things turned upside down in the title fight. Francesco Bagnaia’s lead to Jorge Martin in the championship had been reduced ever since his horrific accident in Barcelona, but things started to looked to change in the last Grand Prix, after the Italian overtook the Spaniard for second. A crash for Bagnaia followed though and, with Martin finishing second, thirteen points split the pair.

Significantly, the winner of the Grand Prix in India was Marco Bezzecchi. The Italian could have won both races, if not for contact with his teammate, Luca Marini. But he is also hanging on in the fight for the title, as he is 44 points from the top.

The race at Motegi will see the long-awaited return of Alex Rins, who had broken his leg in early June, at Motegi. There will be other absences though; Alex Marquez fractured three ribs and Luca Marini broke his collarbone in India, so both will miss this race, although neither will be replaced. Enea Bastianini will also be out of action, with Michele Pirro taking his place.

MotoGP Motegi 2023 history

Motegi has been a constant fixture of the MotoGP calendar since 1999, first as the Pacific Grand Prix. From 2004, it replaced Suzuka as the host of the Japanese Grand Prix, as the latter was removed on safety grounds.

The winningest riders at Motegi, in the MotoGP class, are Loris Capirossi, Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, with three each. Last year, the race was won by Jack Miller on his Ducati, in front of Brad Binder and Jorge Martin, while Francesco Bagnaia crashed on the final lap, whilst running in eighth.

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