The eight-time world champion will start from pole position in Mogeti after a scintillating Qualifying outing in wet conditions.
This is only Marquez’s second race since his latest comeback – he has missed eight races in the 2022 season after undergoing a fourth surgery, and the most major yet, on his right arm.
He didn’t finish last week’s Aragon MotoGP but delivered a reminder of his class in Japan on Saturday, and can now chase a significant personal milestone.
The Japanese MotoGP is also Marquez’s 150th MotoGP start. His 63rd career pole position was his first since the 2019 Japanese MotoGP.
And his appearance at the front of the grid is the ninth different pole-sitter of this season – a new MotoGP record.
He has played down his chances of victory, though.
“I mean, if the race is 10 laps I will say ‘OK, yes the level is there, the speed is there’,” Marquez said. “But for 24 laps of the race, I’m not ready.”
Fabio Quartararo, who leads the 2022 MotoGP standings by 10 points ahead of Francesco Bagnaia, said about Marquez: “He has the speed. He has the pace and he’s starting from the pole. So I think you can put a coin on him for the victory.”
But BT Sport’s Neil Hodgson disagreed: “What will happen is – Marquez’s arm will fatigue so much that he will not be able to keep the pace. So much G-force will go through his body.”