Press releases from the MotoGP teams after qualifying at Motegi:
Heroic Double Front Row for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP at Twin Ring Motegi
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo delighted the Japanese crowd when they secured first and third place respectively for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Japan in a gutsy display of determination.Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo delighted the Japanese crowd when they secured first and third place respectively for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Japan in a gutsy display of determination.
Rossi took his time at the start of the qualifying session and left the pits shortly before his teammate, hoping to find some clear track for his qualifying efforts. Once he found a good rhythm, he immediately made his mark with his first flying lap securing provisional third place. He bettered his time on his second flying lap of 1'44.736 before being pushed back one place by his teammate. The Doctor continued to improve his time by five-thousands' of a second on his next attempt, but as the pace quickened, he returned to the pit box for a quick stop, holding fifth place, with more than five minutes on the clock.
A quick minute later the nine-time World Champion returned to the track. Having dropped to sixth place, he gritted his teeth and put on the heat once more when he rode a fastest second, third and fourth sector towards the end of the session to drop a 1'43.954s for pole. With just enough time for one more lap, his name again flashed up in red in the first two sectors, but he was unable to further his advantage. Yet his earlier fastest lap remained unchallenged, giving the Italian his 64th pole position of his Grand Prix racing career, with a 0.180s margin over his closest rival.
Lorenzo gave a superhuman performance after a challenging start to the second day at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. The Mallorcan suffered a big highside at the end of the FP3 session in turn 2 and had to visit the Medical Center before being helicoptered to the Dokkyo Hospital in Utsunomiya City for a CT scan. He was declared fit to continue his quest for a top result at the Japanese Grand Prix when he returned to the circuit, in time to fight back hard in FP4 and secure third place.
The current World Champion's efforts were equally impressive in the Q2 session. Being the last rider to start the 15-minute qualifying heat, Lorenzo made sure to leave pit lane with enough space between him and the rest of the field. After a cautious start, his second flying lap saw him post a 1'44.399s lap, moving him up from tenth to second position before he headed back to the pit lane with a little less than seven minutes of the session remaining.
Lorenzo was soon back out on the track and, now in third place, he was ready to put the hammer down once more. Unable to further improve his time on his fifth hot lap, he was pushed down to fourth place as his teammate took over at the top of the time sheets, but he didn't give up. He dropped a stunning last lap of 1'44.221s, 0.267s from pole, to start tomorrow's race on the first row from third place on the grid.
Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing Team wildcard rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga also had a good day at the track. He continued to make progress and positioned his YZR-M1 in 16th place on the grid for tomorrow's race.
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"After the difficulties we bumped into during all the previous sessions, trying settings and Jorge's crash, we couldn't have expected to get both riders on the front row, especially to be on pole here at our main competitor's home track. During the FP4 session we have been able to improve Vale's setup quite significantly. The bike became more easy to ride thanks to a better handling and he was able to start riding as he wanted. He delivered a stunning performance to set the fastest time today, even more so considering that he is not feeling a 100% fit. Jorge's third place is also a truly heroic performance when you take into account that we weren't sure if he was going to be able to ride this afternoon. The team has done an amazing job today to overcome the difficulties we faced and a double front row is a great starting place for tomorrow's race."
"It's my third pole position of the year. I'm very happy because this year in qualifying I'm strong. We were struggling during this weekend to find the right balance and I'm also not a 100% fit, I'm suffering physically, I'm not feeling fantastic. In FP4 we improved the balance of the bike a lot and I did a very good lap and great braking in turn 11 and that was good. Starting from pole is always important and now we wait for tomorrow."
"I feel much better than a few hours ago. The painkillers and the adrenaline of riding my bike have improved my feelings. I was scared to get injured, especially for the left leg where I had the biggest impact. It was a big crash, but I was able to make it back for qualifying and we did great, especially on the first lap time in my second stint, I didn't do so much on the second try. Rossi's lap time was incredible and also Marquez's time. It wasn't possible to make it a pole position, but it was much better than we expected when I arrived back at the track."
Front row start for Marquez in Japanese GP at Motegi
Marc Marquez earned an important front-row start during today’s qualifying session, setting the second-fastest lap time, just less than two tenths from pole position.
Marc had displayed a very consistent pace in FP3 and FP4, putting in several laps in the low-to-medium 1’45 range, and he set the quickest time at the end of his first run in qualifying. When he went out for the final phase of the session, he had to abort both of his last flying laps, the first due to a small mistake in turn 11 and the second in turn three when the yellow flags were displayed for a crash by Cal Crutchlow.
Hiroshi Aoyama’s first day of practice had a promising start in FP3, but a crash in turn seven during FP4 affected his confidence a bit. In qualifying he had to settle for the 22nd best time.
“Getting pole would’ve been the best thing for a Saturday, but I’m happy with second place because this circuit is one at which I had expected to struggle a bit more. As it turns out, we’re doing pretty well and have ridden at a good pace throughout the weekend. This afternoon the first run went well enough, but when I took my second bike out I made a small mistake at turn 11 during the first flying lap. I had a last possibility to try to improve but I saw the yellow flag where Crutchlow had just crashed and I slowed down.
“The crash in the morning wasn’t the best thing to happen when I was trying to find a good feeling. I tried to go faster and in FP3 I didn’t start badly at all, but in FP4 I had a small crash. I lost a bit of confidence and wasn’t able to give my maximum in the qualifying session. Tomorrow I hope to have more confidence and a better feeling, especially with the front end. The goal is to finish the race and try to get into the points.”
Andrea Dovizioso and Hector Barbera qualify in fourth and eighth place respectively for the GP of Japan at Motegi
Andrea Dovizioso was fourth fastest in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Japan, round 15 of the world championship that takes place on Sunday at Motegi’s Twin Ring circuit. The Ducati Team’s Italian rider notched up a best lap of 1’44.294, just missing out on the front row by a few tenths of a second. Hector Barbera, riding the Desmosedici GP normally used by Andrea Iannone, was classified in eighth place with a best lap of 1’44.980 and will start the Japanese round from the third row.
This morning both Ducati Team men put in a convincing performance in FP3, which ended with Dovizioso in third and Barbera fourth. Both went through directly into Q2, which was held immediately after the final thirty minute afternoon free practice session, which finished with Dovizioso in fourth and Barbera eighth.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’44.294 (4th)
“I’m very happy with the lap time I set in qualifying: I did a really great lap and I’m also pleased with the job me and my team have been doing at this circuit. Fourth place is OK for me, because on this circuit it’s not much of a disadvantage to start from row 2. In
FP4 we always kept up a good pace, but we are all pretty close and we will only see in the race who has worked the best. Our speed over the lap is in line with the quickest guys and the only question mark regards the possibility of keeping up the same pace for 24 laps.”
Hector Barbera (Ducati Team #8) – 1’44.980 (8th)
“Today was a positive day and I felt much better than yesterday on the Desmosedici GP. I only need to put in a lot more mileage on the bike to get used to its characteristics. In FP4 we only worked with used tyres and I started to get to know the bike better: we made a big step forward, but in Q2 I was unable to put together a perfect lap. In any case I’m eighth on the grid and I start from the third row, but it’s a position from where you can do a good race. For tomorrow I think we can still improve the setup a bit and I’m sure I can also improve my feeling with the bike.”
ESPARGARÓ & SUZUKI ON MOTEGI SECOND ROW
Team Suzuki Press Office – October 15.
Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales will start tomorrow’s Motul Grand Prix of Japan from the second and third rows following today’s final MotoGP™ qualifying.
Both GSX-RR riders qualified directly through to the final Q2 from this morning’s FP3 with Espargaró fifth and Viñales sixth and in the all-important final qualifying secured sixth and seventh positions.
Espargaró’s positive day started in the morning with a solid FP3 in the top positions and a consistent and fast pace in FP4. The improvements done on his GSX-RR proved to be effective as the Spaniard could find a confident feeling with the machine, especially with the rear-end. This helped also in qualifying when Espargaró posted a 1'44.494 lap-time that gave him the second row.
Viñales’ second day in Motegi was a little more complicated. The morning session saw him make some progress, as well as the consistency test done in FP4, but he couldn’t be as effective as he wanted in qualifying, ending the session below his expectations. His race is expected to be an aggressive one, trying to be very fast at the start.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“This qualifying left us the sensation that we could have done better. Aleix has made a solid progression during all the sessions and ended FP4 with an excellent time with worn tyres, so he could have aimed for an even better position. Maverick couldn't find a proper feeling as we couldn’t finalise the best set-up for him and he couldn’t exploit all the potential. However, we find ourselves on the second and third rows, this makes things a little harder for us, but if Aleix can manage to keep the good pace he showed in FP4 - and we find a way to put Maverick in the condition to exploit all his potential - it could become a positive race for the both of them. We have to work hard tonight to prepare for the race and find further improvements.”
“I’m happy for the whole weekend in general, to be honest I was expecting a little better for the chrono, I hoped to fight for the first row, but I made a little mistake in sector one and this affected my fast-lap attempt. But, while the pole was slower than last year, from my side I improved my last year’s time by nearly half a second and this makes me very happy. The pace in FP4 was very good, even a couple of tenths better than what we expected, so I’m happy. We have already decided the rear tyre, while we still have some doubts about the front one, we will have to check some other solutions tomorrow and then take our decision. Also the brake management will be crucial for the race; this circuit has some very hard braking, this means that the brakes get hot very quickly and for me this is an issue. I’m a heavy rider, so this problem is more evident to me than to other riders, meaning that I will need to manage the brake temperature trying to have a clear line in front of me so to allow much air to intake and cool down the braking system.”
“This qualifying didn’t end how I was expecting and being seventh is a lot below our potential. We made some good improvements in the morning session, and also the pace is very good, but then in qualifying we decided to apply a set-up that proved not to be as improved as we wanted. This didn’t allow me to find a perfect feeling and resulted in a not-so positive position. Seventh place is not that bad, but makes the race a little harder. I feel very confident on this track and I’m sure we can find improvements before tomorrow, the strategy will be pretty easy; get a perfect jump at the start and try to recover as soon as possible, because the pace is consistent and fast.”
COMPETITIVE IN PRACTICE, APRILIA SURE TO BE A PROTAGONIST IN THE MOTEGI RACE
ALVARO BAUTISTA GOES THROUGH TO Q2, STEFAN BRADL JUST MISSES IT
Only a crash by Bradl in Q1, in the last part of his lap and while he was ahead of the rest, kept Aprilia from the one-two lead in the first qualifying session, which would translate into two bikes going through to Q2, after the RS-GP machines proved to be fast and consistent in all of the practice sessions. The fourth and fifth row on the grid for Bautista and Bradl will therefore be their starting positions for what promises to be an exciting race.
In the two practice sessions ahead of qualifying, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders focused on race pace, taking a lot of laps on used tyres and looking for solutions to take the best advantage of the bike-tyres package for the 24-lap race distance on the Japanese track.
Alvaro Bautista, who crashed without any consequences in FP3, responded by taking the ninth best time in FP4, just over eight tenths from the top time, and standing out for his consistent performance. Therefore, both riders participated in the first qualifying session, putting good lap times on the sheets straight away. After returning to the garage to change tyres, Bautista and Bradl continued their outstanding performance: Alvaro put the best time on the sheets (an excellent 1’45,614) to go through to Q2, whereas Stefan crashed just a few turns from the end as he was about to achieve the best time. Q2 proved to be unlucky for Bautista, who immediately had a less than optimum feeling with the front tyre, crashing on turn 9 during his first flying lap. This means that the Spaniard will start from the fourth row with the twelfth best time, just ahead of his teammate.
Their understandable disappointment is accompanied by confidence because of what Stefan and Alvaro have demonstrated throughout the weekend: constant growth that confirms the progress the Aprilia RS-GP has shown in the past few championship rounds.
"The day was certainly positive overall, but it's a pity about what happened in Q2. Unfortunately, in the first flying lap we decided to change the front tyre and straight away it did not give me the feeling that had been very good during FP4. I crashed without any warning when we could have improved our position on the grid by a few spots. In any case, the changes made today brought results. I was able to maintain a pace of around 1'45.5 even with used tyres in the race distance simulation. The sensations are good. As always we will set our sights on a top ten finish and I am confident that I can do it".
"Contrasting sensations today. In Q1 I was on a very good lap, but unfortunately I made a small mistake on the last sector of the track. We had the potential to go through to Q2 as well. We have a consistent package but we paid a high price for a very small mistake. I was obviously very angry at the end of qualifying, but I need to be realistic and look toward tomorrow's race, for which we have prepared very well. We have a chance to bring home a good result. That is the most important thing after all the excellent work we have done so far".
Confidence boost for Miller at comeback race in Japan
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller will start the Japanese Grand Prix from 14th on the grid after a confidence boosting performance in qualifying.
Miller bounced back from two crashes in the morning free practice session to post his fastest time of the weekend so far with a best lap of 1'46. 347.
The performance reflected an improvement in set-up for front-end feel, which is crucial for the heavy braking forces at the stop-go 4.8km Twin Ring Motegi.
Tomorrow's 24-lap Japanese GP will be just the second race for Miller since he splashed his way to victory in the rain-hit Dutch TT at Assen in June.
In the 16 weeks since that superb maiden MotoGP win the 21-year-old Australian has missed four races, competing only in the German and British Grands Prix.
While recovering from back and hand fractures Miller has missed crucial track time aboard his Honda RC213V and his strong qualifying session shows he is getting back to his best.
Spanish rider Tito Rabat is also in a positive mood after qualifying 18th and just 0.3 slower than teammate Miller after a series of positive set-up changes to help overcome the rear grip issues he suffered in Friday practice.
The Japanese Grand Prix is round 15 of the MotoGP World Championship.
Jack Miller: 14th - 1'46.347
"It was nice to find some confidence in the front-end set-up for qualifying, the FP3 session was a bit of a disaster with a couple of crashes when I wasn't even pushing for a time. It meant that the FP4 session and qualifying were both crucial for me and we found some extra speed in both sessions and hopefully we can carry this forward into the race. I'm still not totally happy but after missing a few races it is relief to know that physically I'm OK and that we have some margin in the front-end and can push for a good race result."
Tito Rabat: 18th - 1'46.753
"I am happy with both free practice and qualifying because we are positives steps forward with the feel and set-up of the bike. I did two laps in the 1'46s in qualifying and this makes me confident that I can do a strong race."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Today was a big improvement from both Jack and Tito with times in the 1'46s and the team did an excellent job of checking all the data to improve the set-up on both bikes. It was positive step froward from Friday and I think shows that both riders are capable of scoring some nice points in the race."
Espargaro to start Motegi showdown from 3rd row Smith courageously qualifies on the 5th
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro will begin his quest to finish as the top independent rider in tomorrow's Japanese GP by bolting from the third row of the grid. The young Spaniard immediately launched into action in this morning's all important FP3 practice, as he continued his setup work whilst carrying on the positive momentum from yesterday. After pushing non-stop in the 45-minute shootout, his fastest time left him 9th in the combined practice standings and therefore, able to pass directly through to Q2. Here, Espargaro built up his pace and eventually sped to a personal best of 1'45.232, which he set in the final moments of the thrilling session. This lap saw him qualify in 9th position and just over a second back from the reigning MotoGP World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo. Now, the 25-year-old aims to undertake a rocket start tomorrow and then force his way through the pack to clinch a notable result at Yamaha's Home GP.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team pit box, the recovering Bradley Smith, who is handicapped by an injury to his right knee, bravely qualified on the 5th row of the grid for the round 15 battle. The young Briton got straight to work this morning and he courageously completed 17 laps as he grew stronger with every run. He set his quickest time at the end of the practice and the performance left him in 20th overall, having improved by nearly four seconds from his personal best lap of the opening session. Later today, in qualifying one, the 25-year-old produced a heroic display as he rode at an impressive pace, despite the limitation with his knee, and he posted his personal best on his last lap out of 4. This time sealed 15th position and now Smith optimistically awaits the race where he will give his all in order to finish the Japanese Grand Prix.
"Overall, I have to be satisfied about qualifying on the third row today, as this session is the one that I have been struggling with the most in the last few races. For example, in Aragon, we were fast for the entire weekend but I ended up on the fourth row by the end of QP2. Therefore, ninth is nothing to be too excited about, but at least it gives us the chance to stay with the top guys at the beginning of the race. The main aim in the opening stage of the GP will be to stay in front of as many Ducatis as possible, because I'm convinced that it will be very tricky to pass them later on, due to their advantage with acceleration. In terms of tyre choices, we have a clear idea about what to use, and fortunately for us, our rhythm over race distance should be better than a single lap performance. We tried a completely different setup in FP4, however, I felt that it wasn't as beneficial as we expected, so we opted for another direction for qualifying and it took me a few laps to adapt to this new setting. Nevertheless, during the second run, I felt a lot better and I believe we will continue to work with this option in tomorrow's warm up so that we can put ourselves in the best possible position for the 24 lap battle."
"We have to be more than pleased with today's qualifying position because 15th is far beyond what we could expect when considering my injury. The team did an excellent job and together, we made some subtle changes to the bike which meant that step by step, my knee felt more comfortable in each session. Of course, qualifying is only a short distance and tomorrow will be much harder with the race being 24 laps, but today's result is fantastic and now I just need to try and rest up as much as possible. For me, the tyre choice is quite clear for both ends of the bike and we have focused a lot on the rear grip, which is very important here because of the big acceleration. We will see what tomorrow brings but I've given myself a good opportunity by qualifying in 15th and the main objective is to get through the 24 laps."
CRUTCHLOW BEST INDIPENDENT TEAM RIDER AT MOTEGI QUALIFYING
Cal Crutchlow will start Sunday’s Grand Prix of Japan from the second row of the grid after another excellent day of qualifying at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. The LCR Honda man is yet again the Top Independent Team rider on the grid, and will fancy his chances of taking a spot on the podium in the 24-lap race.
A small spill in the final moments of the 15-minute qualifying shootout didn’t blot Crutchlow’s copybook too much, and considering the pace he has shown throughout this weekend, there is every chance of another good result tomorrow. The Brit currently sits in sixth place in the MotoGP World Championship standings, and is hopeful of delivering another positive finish at the home of Honda.
#35 Cal Crutchlow – 5th (1’44.402)
“Again I think it was a bit of a missed opportunity to get onto the front row, I made a small mistake under braking trying to push to make up for the lack of acceleration and the speed of our bike this weekend. We are doing a good job as a team though, I’m very happy with how we are working and how I’m riding at the moment.”
“I’m looking forward to a good race on Sunday, not only do we need to do a good job for the LCR team but also for Honda and try and help them out in the constructor’s championship if we can. I have to step up a little with Dani Pedrosa being absent. As I said yesterday, we hope that Dani comes back soon, it’s a shame that he’s not here to race this weekend.”
Hector Barbera, Loris Baz and Mike Jones keep improving at Motegi
The second day of the Grand Prix of Japan, with two more free practice sessions followed by qualifying, has been positive for the Avintia Racing riders. Hector Barbera improved further and continued to enjoy his adventure riding the official Ducati Team’s Desmosedici GP, the same bike he will have next season. In the morning he was fourth just behind his teammate Andrea Dovizioso, and in the afternoon, he pushed a little bit more in Q2, but as everybody else improved as will, he will start from eighth place on the third row of the grid.
Loris Baz also improved from yesterday, but the lack of confidence is taking its toll on the Avintia Racing French rider, as he has not enough feeling with the front end of his bike. Tomorrow he’ll start the race from 20th place on the penultimate row of the grid, but he aims to recover some feeling over the 24 laps of the race.
“Mad Mike” Jones will start just behind Baz. The Australian rider has made the best of his MotoGP debut on Barbera’s bike so far. He has improved more than three seconds from yesterday and his target is to finish the race tomorrow, to learn more, but must importantly, enjoy the experience.
Hector Barbera - 1'44.980 - P8
“Today was a positive day and I felt much better than yesterday on the Desmosedici GP. I only need to put in a lot more mileage on the bike to get used to its characteristics. In FP4 we only worked with used tyres and I started to get to know the bike better. We made a big step forward, but in Q2 I was unable to put a perfect lap together. In any case I’m eighth on the grid and I start from the third row, but it’s a position from where you can do a good race. For tomorrow I think we can still improve the setup a bit and I’m sure I can also improve my feeling with the bike.”
Loris Baz - 1'47.501 - P20
“Everything is getting more difficult this weekend. I need more confidence, which is hard to recover in a test and even more so during a race weekend. On the brighter side, we have improved our lap times during qualifying by almost a second, but this is the maximum we were able to do. It is really difficult to give your best when you are so far behind. Tomorrow I’ll try to finish the race. We don’t have the pace, but we have to give our best. I hope to find some confidence during the warm-up, and a bit more during the race, but it will be crucial to finish and get a boost of confidence ahead of Phillip Island, where I think everything will be easier.”
Mike Jones - 1'47.631 - P21
“The second day was fantastic, we made a lot of improvements, both with my riding and also with the bike. All of the people involved in Avintia Racing are helping me to adapt to the MotoGP bike, so I made a lot of improvement with my riding to make the bike work, and also they made changes to the bike to suit my riding as well. We made up a lot of time and improved the lap times quite significantly, so I’m very happy. It’s all about being steady, moving step by step, and just taking it as it comes and enjoying the experience. But even the lap times are getting a lot better, I don’t want to get too carried away and think of a good result or anything like this. I just want to race and enjoy. It will be what it will be, but of course the better the position, the happier we will be. My lap times are better and I should be in a similar position with the other guys that are just in front of me, and I should be able to learn a lot through the race and gain even more experience.”
Pull&Bear Aspar Team look to recover positions in the race
Saturday, 15 October 2016 07:26
Eugene Laverty misses first session of the day as a precaution but qualifies in nineteenth, with Yonny Hernández seventeenth after a crash just moments before qualifying
Valentino Rossi, Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo moved level on career pole positions today as the Italian matched the Spanish pair's total of 64 with a lap of 1'43.954 that puts him at the front of the grid for tomorrow's MotoGP race at Motegi. Series leader Márquez starts alongside Rossi in second place, with Lorenzo completing the front row ahead of a second row made up of Andrea Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow and Aleix Espargaró. Hiroshi Aoyama will line up on the grid tomorrow for his home race in place of Dani Pedrosa, who broke his collarbone in a practice crash yesterday.
For the Pull&Bear Aspar Team the aim over the 24-lap race will be to recover positions, with Yonny Hernández starting from seventeenth after a crash at the end of the final free practice of the day which limited his chances during qualifying. Hernández had to take out his second bike for the grid shootout and was not as comfortable with the set-up, so could not push to improve his best times. Eugene Laverty took medical advice and missed FP3 this morning, taking some extra rest following his heavy crash yesterday before returning to action in FP4. The Irishman was only able to complete five laps due to a problem with his bike but went out in qualifying and clocked a time of 1'47.070, enough for a seventh row start tomorrow.
17th Yonny Hernández 1.46.705:
“The crash in final free practice was a shame because it was with my number one bike, which I had a better feeling with. I lost the front on the brakes into turn ten. It was blocking a little before that but I didn't feel like I was going to crash. It meant we had to qualify on the other bike and I didn't feel totally comfortable with it. It didn't turn so well and I didn't have the same feeling with the engine mapping so I couldn't get close to the lap times I was doing on the other bike. Hopefully we can do well tomorrow, my feeling with the number one bike and my pace is good so we want to be fighting for a good result.”
19th Eugene Laverty 1.47.070:
“It has been a long 24 hours but I feel better right now than I did this time yesterday, that's for sure! We decided to miss FP3 this morning and give myself a few more hours just to rest and get ready for the afternoon. We did okay, we made some laps, the important thing was just to get the feeling with the bike again and get ready for the race tomorrow. I would have liked to have done more laps but we had a problem with the bike in FP4 so I had to enter boxes and it took a little time to fix it for qualifying. Anyway, I stayed on the bike today and I got the feeling back so now we have another night's sleep and we can be ready for the race tomorrow.”
Saturday in Q2 for Octo Pramac Yakhnich. Petrux ends up in the Top 10, Scott 11th
With both riders qualified for the Q2 of the #JapaneseGp, Octo Pramac Yakhnich confirms the positive trend in qualifying, that was also recorded in the last GP of Aragon.
At the Motegi Circuit, Danilo Petrucci managed to qualify directly, while Scott Redding was able to gain second place in Q1, reaching his team mate in the qualifying for the pole position.
Today, Petrux confirmed the good feeling of the free practice lapping with a good pace in FP3 and finishing tenth. Following a good first run in Q2, with the crono of 1'45.728, during the time attack Danilo did not find the conditions to lower his lap-time that earned him the tenth position.
Scott has recorded remarcable progress after the difficulties encountered in the Friday’s free practice. After missing the direct qualification to Q2, for only 10 milliseconds, he stayed focused and managed to win one of the two available places in Q1. In the second run of Q2, Scott set his fastest lap (1'45.728), which gives him the eleventh position on the grid tomorrow.
11th - Scott Redding
I was a little disappointed not to have gone directly into Q2 having finished the Q1 just 10 thousandths of a second behind Danilo. But in the end I am satisfied because the gap was really large yesterday, while today we were able to stay very close to the Top 10. I think the factory bikes have made considerable progress over the last few races, so it is very difficult to stay in front or even also close the Top 8. However, we are on the right path and I am confident for tomorrow.
10th - Danilo Petrucci
I do not know whether to be happy or not, today. This morning I crashed ruining a little our work but in the end I did it to get into Q2 and this allowed me to concentrate on race pace in FP4. In qualifying, however, I was a donkey: I started well and in the second run I tried to wait for a fast driver to follow, I found Lorenzo but I made soon a mistake turning wide. We will see tomorrow what will happen but all things considered I am satisfied with what we have done so far during the weekend.