Lorenzo takes commanding Motegi pole

Lorenzo takes commanding Motegi pole


Lorenzo takes commanding Motegi pole


Jorge Lorenzo took a commanding pole position as the weather-disrupted Motegi MotoGP weekend went straight into qualifying.

With all the practice sessions having been canceled due to either fog or rain, the usual qualifying format was shelved in favor of a single 75-minute session that would both set the grid and give riders some practice time. This began on a very wet track, but was drying throughout.

As the pole fight began to get serious, Nicky Hayden gave Ducati a brief spell on the provisional top spot before being deposed by Dani Pedrosa’s Honda. But when Lorenzo hooked up a lap, the Yamaha team leader blew his rivals away by six tenths of a second. He then extended that margin to a full second on his next run.

Lorenzo’s title rival Marc Marquez was down in fifth at that point having taken a trip through the gravel. He recovered to second, 0.6s down on Lorenzo, before sliding off track again.

Hayden hung on to third to keep Ducati on the front row. Pedrosa fell back to fourth, ahead of Valentino Rossi and Hayden’s team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

Alvaro Bautista had been in the top five heading into the final stages, but sidelined his Gresini Honda with a crash and was left in seventh.

The recovering Stefan Bradl took eighth on his return following the fractured ankle he suffered at Sepang two weeks ago.

CRT pacesetter Aleix Espargaro and Pramac Ducati’s Yonny Hernandez completed the top 10, as Tech 3 teammates Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith struggled to 11th and 13th, split by Yamaha wildcard Katsuyuki Nakasuga.

Pos  Rider               Team/Bike             Time       Gap 1.  Jorge Lorenzo       Yamaha                1m53.471s 2.  Marc Marquez        Honda                 1m54.129s  +0.658s 3.  Nicky Hayden        Ducati                1m54.539s  +1.068s 4.  Dani Pedrosa        Honda                 1m54.542s  +1.071s 5.  Valentino Rossi     Yamaha                1m54.732s  +1.261s 6.  Andrea Dovizioso    Ducati                1m55.036s  +1.565s 7.  Alvaro Bautista     Gresini Honda         1m55.135s  +1.664s 8.  Stefan Bradl        LCR Honda             1m55.610s  +2.139s 9.  Aleix Espargaro     Aspar Aprilia         1m55.719s  +2.248s10.  Yonny Hernandez     Pramac Ducati         1m55.998s  +2.527s11.  Cal Crutchlow       Tech 3 Yamaha         1m56.058s  +2.587s12.  Katsuyuki Nakasuga  Yamaha                1m56.125s  +2.654s13.  Bradley Smith       Tech 3 Yamaha         1m57.114s  +3.643s14.  Colin Edwards       Forward FTR-Kawasaki  1m57.297s  +3.826s15.  Andrea Iannone      Pramac Ducati         1m57.347s  +3.876s16.  Danilo Petrucci     Ioda-Suter-BMW        1m57.540s  +4.069s17.  Randy de Puniet     Aspar Aprilia         1m57.715s  +4.244s18.  Hiroshi Aoyama      Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  1m57.994s  +4.523s19.  Michael Laverty     PBM Aprilia           1m58.540s  +5.069s20.  Luca Scassa         Cardion Aprilia       1m58.802s  +5.331s21.  Claudio Corti       Forward FTR-Kawasaki  1m59.617s  +6.146s22.  Hector Barbera      Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  1m59.646s  +6.175s23.  Damian Cudlin       PBM-Aprilia           2m00.982s  +7.511s24.  Bryan Staring       Gresini FTR-Honda     2m02.712s  +9.241s25.  Lukas Pesek         Ioda-Suter-BMW        2m02.932s  +9.461s

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