Motegi was the stage for a parade of the walking wounded on Thursday. The first question to half of the riders in the press conference was, "How's the injury?" The answers mattered quite a lot, given that Jorge Lorenzo is engaged in a battle to the wire with Valentino Rossi for the 2015 MotoGP crown, Marc Márquez has proved to be capable of being the joker in the podium pack, and Andrea Iannone is the dark horse always looking to disrupt proceedings at the front.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi:
Yamaha Continues Championship Challenge at Motegi
After a fantastic victory by Jorge Lorenzo and a strong third place from Valentino Rossi in Aragón a fortnight ago that saw Movistar Yamaha MotoGP take the Team World Championship Title, the team prepares for the first of the three flyaway races at the Grand Prix of Japan.
Tokyo (Japan), 6th October 2015
And so the most crucial part of the season begins. Although you could justifiably make the argument that every race is equally important, the three flyaways to the Pacific rim often punch well above their weight in terms of determining the outcome of the championships. If riders haven't all but wrapped up the title before heading East for the triple header at Motegi, Phillip Island and Sepang, then events can throw a real spanner in the works of a title fight.
Jorge Lorenzo has sprained his left shoulder in a training accident. The four-time world champion was training on a minibike with some other riders, when he fell heavily on his left shoulder. The pain was severe enough for him to travel to a medical center in Barcelona, where he was diagnosed with grade 1 sprain of his left shoulder. Grade 1 sprains are the lowest level injury, a mild sprain.
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Rossi needs 'stuff' to happen
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the thrilling race at Aragon:
Lorenzo Lands Aragón Victory as Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Locks up Team World Title
Just when it looked like the three Grand Prix championships were getting closed to being wrapped up, along came Aragon. The three races at the last European round before the Pacific flyaways left the title chase still open in all three classes. The outcome in both Moto2 and Moto3 still looks pretty much inevitable, but a win by Jorge Lorenzo in MotoGP meant that the battle for supremacy between the Spaniard and Valentino Rossi is anything but over.
The last two races have followed a familiar pattern. On Friday and Saturday, Jorge Lorenzo has laid down a scorching pace, which his rivals – and more importantly, his teammate and rival for the 2015 MotoGP title, Valentino Rossi – have been unable to follow. Lorenzo's name was penciled onto the winner's trophy, and his grip on the MotoGP class looked secure.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and others after qualifying at Aragon:
Marquez takes record breaking pole in Aragon with Pedrosa on second row
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has taken a magnificent pole position – his seventh of the season – for tomorrow’s Aragon GP breaking his 2014 pole record (1’47.187) by over half a second. Teammate Dani Pedrosa had a provisional front row for the majority of the session but was demoted in the final moments and will start from 5th place.
What's the value of testing? Judging by Jorge Lorenzo's time on Friday – a second under the race lap record, and three tenths off the outright lap record – you would have to say that it's good at least for a day's worth of practice. The Movistar Yamahas came to the Motorland Aragon circuit having tested here twice, once after Barcelona, once before Misano. The test in September allowed them to find a strong set up for this weekend, one which works well, as Lorenzo's blistering lap time in the afternoon showed so clearly.