Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Motegi:
Jorge Lorenzo has taken his fourth pole position of the year in a scintillating qualifying session that went down to the wire. It was a session in which tactics and strategy proved crucial, right from the very start. Lorenzo got out of the pits first as usual, but Valentino Rossi was lying in wait, following his Movistar Yamaha teammate out and using him as a target. Lorenzo's first flying lap took him to the top of the timesheets, but Rossi's strategy paid off, crossing the line and taking over at the top straight away.
Lorenzo came in early, and went out on the same bike with a new rear tire, and on his second run became the first rider to ever lap the Motegi circuit in under 1'44 seconds, taking provisional pole with a time of 1'43.990. Rossi also came in to swap tires, taking his time to go out for a second run, then pushing hard to take pole position back on his final lap. In the meantime, Lorenzo had come in for second stop, this time swapping bikes before going out again to a bike with a softer front. The gamble paid off, Lorenzo topping Rossi on his final run, securing pole and pushing his teammate back into 2nd.
Marc Marquez had a strong run to take 3rd on the grid, the Repsol Honda rider rounding out the front row despite a painful hand injury. Marquez was incapable of matching the pace of the Yamahas, though, finishing over four tenths behind Lorenzo's pole time. The two Ducatis which Rossi had feared might insert themselves between him and Lorenzo are on the second row, Andrea Dovizioso leading his teammate Andrea Iannone, while Dani Pedrosa rounds out the second row in 6th. Aleix Espargaro put the Suzuki into 7th spot, a second slower than the pole time of Lorenzo, finishing ahead of the two British riders, Cal Crutchlow taking 8th on the LCR Honda, Bradley Smith ending 9th. Smith's qualifying was marred by two big crashes, including a very fast one at Turn 12. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider was lucky to walk away unharmed.
|23||76||Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward||1'46.048||1.018||0.009|
|24||63||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||1'46.179||1.149||0.131|
|25||24||Toni Elias||Yamaha Forward||1'46.256||1.226||0.077|
|15||Alex De Angelis||ART|