- What: Motul Grand Prix of Japan
- Date: Sunday, October 1, 2023
- Location: Mobility Resort Motegi
- Where: Motegi, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
- Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: CNBC
With seven races left in the 2023 MotoGP season, the hunt for the championship remains a three-rider competition, with defending champion Francesco Bagnaia holding a 13-point lead over Jorge Martin and a 44-point lead over third-place Marco Bezzecchi. This weekend, the MotoGP riders are in Japan for the 2023 Motul Grand Prix of Japan. Here is some background on the race before we dive into the beating breakdown of the competition.
MotoGP has been competing on the Mobility Resort Motegi course since 1999. However, there were no races on the 2.9-mile road course in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic. Jack Miller was the winner of last year’s Motul Grand Prix of Japan. The victory was the first of the year for Miller, who finished 2022 in 5th place. He has not won a race since and is currently in ninth place in the standings.
The riders enter this race coming off the recent 2023 IndianOil Grand Prix of India, which Marco Bezzecchi won. Jorge Martin was the runner-up. As for Francesco Bagnaia, he did not finish the race, bowing out after 13 laps following an accident.
2023 Motul Grand Prix of Japan betting picks
|To Win 2023 Motul Grand Prix of Japan|
|Fabio Di Giannantonio||+10000||+10000||+10000|
Not long ago, Francesco Bagnaia had a 66-point lead over the MotoGP pack. That cushion made the 26-year-old Ducati rider an overwhelming favorite to repeat as the MotoGP champion. However, Bagnaia has struggled. The defending MotoGP champion, who finished third at the Gran Premio Red Bull di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, followed that by crashing out of last week’s race while in second place.
Bagnaia has been watching as much tape as he can ahead of the 2023 Motul Grand Prix of Japan and trying to figure out why he is having late-season problems with his bike. “The only thing that came out is in the last races the rear is doing something quite strange. Normally, the standard [approach] is a normal slide that I can control. And then in the last two weekends, but more in the last weekend, my rear slide was over the limit,” said Bagnaia.
Bagnaia crashed out of the Japan race in 2022. In 2019 he placed 13th.
The 10th-place finisher of the 2022 race on this course, Marco Bezzecchi, comes into this year’s race with a runner-up finish and a win in his past two starts. Those finishes, and his six other top-five finishes, including two wins earlier in the year, have the 24-year-old in the hunt for the 2023 MotoGP championship as the season winds down. Bezzecchi, whose first season on the MotoGP tour was last year, finished in 14th place overall with 111 points last season. He has 248 points this year, putting him in third place.
Despite how close he is to the points lead, Bezzecchi said he remains relaxed and doesn’t think he is in the mix to win the 2023 MotoGP Championship, “I am relaxed. The real fight is between them (Francesco Bagnaia and No. 2 Jorge Martin), I’m just running close but never close enough!” Bezzecchi said. “If I can be close until the end I will try to fight for it, I’d be lying if I said no.”
Barring an enormous drop-off, Jorge Martin will have the best year of his young MotoGP career in 2023. The 25-year-old, who raced his first full season of MotoGP in 2022, finished in 9th place last year with 152 points. This year, Martin has two wins and 279 points, which puts him very close to the points leader, Francesco Bagnaia, who has 292 points.
Martin has finished in third, first, and second in his past three outings. If he has a strong finish in Japan and Bagnaia slips, MotoGP could have a new leader at the end of Sunday’s Japan GP. There is strong evidence that Martin will have a good race on Sunday. He finished in third place on this course last year, which was his first time competing in the Motul Grand Prix under MotoGP. He also placed third in 2019 while competing in Moto2.
“I have a lot of confidence. I have the best package that I can have with this bike,” said Martin. “My first Moto2 podium was here, and last season I was third. Let’s try to again be on the podium.”
Best betting picks for the 2023 Motul Grand Prix of Japan
With the struggles Francesco Bagnaia is having, it’s hard to pick the betting favorite to win the 2023 Japan GP. That’s not saying he can’t win, he 100 percent can if he figures out the problem with his bike, but he is not our betting pick. No, Jorge Martin, who is having the best results of his 2023 season, is the betting pick to win the 2023 Motul Grand Prix of Japan.
Best 2023 Motul Grand Prix of Japan betting pick: Jorge Martin to win.
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