Riding with the effects of a fractured right ankle Stefan Bradl has amazingly headed a Honda top three after MotoGP FP at Motegi. The young German proved his mettle and fitness to lead the Repsol Honda pair of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez by a tenth of a second. It wasn't all plain sailing for the factory Hondas though as Marquez sent a massive scare through the camp after a scary crash at the lightning fast turn twelve.
The championship leader lost the front coming out of the tunnel and cart wheeled violently through the adjacent gravel trap, knocking his head and right arm several times and losing the visor from his helmet in the process. Remarkably he was able to walk away in tact, return to his pit box to remove the gravel from his nostrils and head back out on his second bike to further improve his lap times and once again underline his uncanny resilience.
Yesterday's pole-man Jorge Lorenzo looked consistent and fast in the early running but had to settle for the fourth fastest time ahead of Alvaro Bautista. Bautista also had a crash, losing the front at turn ten in the final minutes whilst pushing on a very quick lap, he thankfully also walked away unharmed and made it four Hondas in the top five. Cal Crutchlow ended in sixth place ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi while Nicky Hayden and Bradley Smith completed the top ten after the first and only dry session of a trying Japanese Grand Prix weekend so far.
|13||5||Colin EDWARDS||FTR Kawasaki||1'48.300||1.860||0.226|
|18||14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||1'49.010||2.570||0.352|
|20||71||Claudio CORTI||FTR Kawasaki||1'49.497||3.057||0.407|
|24||67||Bryan STARING||FTR Honda||1'52.160||5.720||1.733|