His ambition feeds on giant goals, being the best rider in the history of motorcycling, for example, but small stimuli always help, filling in the few gaps left in his almost complete curriculum. This season, Marc Márquez , beyond his eighth MotoGP World Championship, kept two intimate wishes, two successes in two very specific circuits: getting his first victory at Red Bull Racing, in Austria, and his first pole at Motegi, in Japan . Both paths were the only ones that resisted him and proved capable of dominating in all places, of "being the best Marc Márquez of all time", was an extra motivation among so many records, so much glory.

Certainly both gaps in his record were oddities. In the Red Bull Ring, for example, Márquez had been very close to victory in the first three years of the MotoGP circuit, from 2016 to 2018. The characteristics of the track, with long straight lines, favored the Ducati and its top speed, but the winners in the test, Andrea Iannone , Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo , always had to fight with Márquez until the end, almost until the last corner. And this year was no less. Last August it seemed that the current champion could celebrate for the first time in Austria, but Dovizioso appeared and in the last corner he postponed his full triumph in the calendar one more year.

That is why Márquez could no longer let out his other worst. An even weirder one. In his previous six seasons at MotoGP, he had achieved two victories at Motegi (2016 and 2018) and had even held the title there up to three times, but never, had he never closed the pole. He started from second place on the grid twice, from third place two more times, but there was always a faster driver in one lap. His brand, Honda, in fact, despite being a few kilometers from his factory, had not held a pole since 2011. This Saturday Márquez needed to respond to that need now and he did. Wow, he did. Although the asphalt was still wet from the morning rains, he achieved his first pole in Motegi in MotoGP with advantage.

His tenth pole of the course was like almost all the previous ones: with much superiority. From the first fast lap he marked the reference time and even before the last round of attempts, he already recorded the best time in the qualifying round (1'45.763). Then, the rivals who, in principle, should discuss the victory this Sunday (08.00 hours, DAZN), Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales , tried to approach but stayed two and three tenths and ahead let Franco Morbidelli sneak in second place. Dovizioso, one step away from another runner-up, could only be seventh, Alex Rins finished eleventh and Márquez's partner, Lorenzo, stayed out of another Q2 and will start nineteenth.

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