2013 Motegi MotoGP QP Result: Wet And Wild Session

Full report and results below:

Jorge Lorenzo has put on a masterful display of controlled and aggressive wet weather riding in very tricky conditions at the Motegi circuit to take pole for the fifteenth running of the Japanese Grand Prix. Qualifying saw track conditions improving right the way through as no further rain fell and a drying line formed in the closing stages of the seventy five minute session. Lorenzo finished over half a second quicker than his championship combatant and points leader Marc Marquez in second. Marquez looked fairly erratic throughout and had several excursions off track, but in typical fashion managed to put a lap together when he needed it.

Nicky Hayden put on a fantastic show and reveled on the damp track to take the final place on the front row of the grid aboard his Ducati. The Kentucky Kid would be highly satisfied with the result after a very difficult season to date. His former team mate Dani Pedrosa heads up row two alongside Valentino Rossi and fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso, who also gave the Ducati factory something to smile about.

Alvaro Bautista managed to take seventh place despite a crash under heavy braking at the 'V' curve. He was disappointingly just four hundredths of a second off the provisional pole time through the second sector of the lap that he took the tumble on. Stefan Bradl put up a brave fight riding with screws and bolts in his fractured left ankle to finish in eight place ahead of Aleix Espargaro who completed the third row and typically finished as the top CRT competitor. Columbian rider Yonny Hernandez was another Ducati rider to enjoy the slippery conditions, rounding out the top ten aboard his Pramac satellite machine.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Prev
1 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 1'53.471    
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'54.129 0.658 0.658
3 69 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati 1'54.539 1.068 0.410
4 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'54.542 1.071 0.003
5 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'54.732 1.261 0.190
6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'55.036 1.565 0.304
7 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Honda 1'55.135 1.664 0.099
8 6 Stefan BRADL Honda 1'55.610 2.139 0.475
9 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 1'55.719 2.248 0.109
10 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 1'55.998 2.527 0.279
11 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha 1'56.058 2.587 0.060
12 21 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA Yamaha 1'56.125 2.654 0.067
13 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 1'57.114 3.643 0.989
14 5 Colin EDWARDS FTR Kawasaki 1'57.297 3.826 0.183
15 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 1'57.347 3.876 0.050
16 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ioda-Suter 1'57.540 4.069 0.193
17 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 1'57.715 4.244 0.175
18 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA FTR 1'57.994 4.523 0.279
19 70 Michael LAVERTY ART 1'58.540 5.069 0.546
20 23 Luca SCASSA ART 1'58.802 5.331 0.262
21 71 Claudio CORTI FTR Kawasaki 1'59.617 6.146 0.815
22 8 Hector BARBERA FTR 1'59.646 6.175 0.029
23 50 Damian CUDLIN PBM 2'00.982 7.511 1.336
NQ 67 Bryan STARING FTR Honda 2'02.712 9.241 1.730
NQ 52 Lukas PESEK Ioda-Suter 2'02.932 9.461 0.220

 

Round Number: 
17
2013
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Comments

I wonder if race indirection will let Pesek and Staring race? Cudlin only just made the cut-off too. Given the circumstances of the practice (or lack thereof), and Lorenzo's dominance, will they let it slide? Scassa seems to be doing better than the rider he is replacing, though so does Hernandez! (Anything official about Spies for next year?)

Hayden's performance must have some at Ducati wondering if they got rid of the right rider (though one suspects those outside Ducati know the answer to that)... Especially with his replacement doing so poorly on a vastly superior bike. Crutchlow seems to be a bit hit and miss, it'll be interesting to watch next year, just how well he can tame the beast.

Lorenzo is in top form at a "Honda track" yet again, seems the Honda's do well at "Yamaha tracks" and Yamaha does well at the "Honda tracks", though this particular track; it's hard to argue is anything other than a Honda track...

With dry weather predicted for Sunday, my guess is they will make the 107% cut-off time in the 50 minute free practice scheduled in place of the 20 minute warm up.

Rain on Sunday could have really given Jorge a shot at the title. As it is beating the two factory Hondas in the dry will be next to impossible. And low grip but dry conditions will play even further into Hondas hands. Lorenzo's best hope is to race MM super hard and hope runs off somewhere. With the way Marc tends to ride on a guys back wheel Jorge might be well advised to just brake a touch earlier into one of the slow corners, force Marc to run wide to avoid him. Bit dirty but if Marc wants to shadow people that close he leaves himself vulnerable to it.

Could make the difference in the World Championship.
(If Jorge can stay in front long enough to perform it.)