Latest MotoGP Results
Despite strict instructions being issued to the Moto3 riders after Aragon, warning them of severe sanctions should they be found waiting on the racing line, the problem reared its ugly head again in qualifying at Motegi. As a result, Race Direction felt compelled to act, imposing severe penalties on four riders in Moto3. Four riders were penalized for going slowly, officially for riding slower than 110% of their fastest times through three sectors on one lap.
Results and summary of the Moto2 qualifying session:
Johann Zarco has taken his seventh pole position of the season, with a fast lap to smash the pole record set by Tito Rabat last year. Zarco took over at the end of the session, deposing Tom Luthi, who has been very quick throughout practice and qualifying. It looked for a long time like Luthi's lap would be good enough for pole, but Zarco had other ideas.
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Motegi:
A red flag disrupted a close FP4 session for the MotoGP class, a very nasty crash for Alex De Angelis shortly before the halfway mark causing the session to be stopped. De Angelis' condition meant it took the medical staff a long time to clear the track. He was reported to be conscious, breathing, and able to move his legs, but the Italian veteran was flown to nearby Dokkyo hospital for further treatment.
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto3 class:
Romano Fenati has broken the bad habit which has plagued his Grand Prix career, by taking his first ever pole position. The Italian found some pace as the second half of qualifying began, putting in a flying lap to break Danny Kent's pole record from last year. Fenati got his fast lap in at the right time, as he went out for his final run, he lost the front at Turn 5. Miguel Oliveira charged his way to 2nd late in the session, while Jorge Navarro, fresh off his first podium in Moto3 at Aragon, made his way up to 3rd.
Alex Rins cleared away from the pack in FP3 Saturday by nearly four-tenths of a second to set the fastest time in the final free practice before qualifying. The Moto2 rookie's 1'50.909 put him .369 ahead of newly crowned champion Johann Zarco and nearly half a second in front of Sandro Cortese (3rd).
Rins was the sole rider to dip into the 1'50s. He was consistently quick all session. He currently sits third in the championship but a win Sunday, coupled with Tito Rabat's withdrawl, would put him in second place by three points.
Jorge Lorenzo shrugged off his shoulder injury to set the fastest-ever motorcycle lap at the Motegi Twin Ring circuit in Japan. The Spanish rider's 1'44.089 on his final lap put him four-tenths clear of the field and nearly into the 1'43s at the 4.8 km (2.9 mi.) circuit. The lap marked the second time he broke the record in the 45-minute session. The first came a lap earlier when he set a 1'44.235.
Niccolo Antonelli continued to dominate free practice at Motegi circuit Saturday with the top time of the weekend so far. Antonelli's 1’56.572 put him more than three-tenths ahead of Brad Binder, who earned the second-fastest time. Miguel Oliveira took third, two-hundredths back.
Jorge Navarro set the fourth fastest time, just in front of Romano Fenati (5th). Championship leader Danny Kent improved from earlier practices to finish sixth, just barely in front teammate Hiroki Ono (7th).
Perhaps that weight off Johann Zarco's shoulders improved his bike setup.
The season's six-time race winner set FP2's fastest practice time shortly after being told he was the 2015 Moto2 champion as a result of Tito Rabat withdrawing from the race. Rabat's withdrawal after a handful of practice laps -- he didn't have sufficent strength in the left arm he broke in a training accident -- meant the Spaniard's distant mathematical chance of defending his 2014 championship evaporated.
And it meant Zarco was the rare rider to become champion during a practice session.
Jorge Lorenzo used the Friday's second free practice at the Motegi circuit in the same the way he used the first: To determine if anyone -- particularly title rival Valentino Rossi -- had the consistent speed to stay with him in Sunday's race. So far, no one has answered.
Niccolo Antonelli ended FP2 in the same the way he ended FP1: By setting the fastest Moto3 time of the day at the Motegi circuit in Japan. The rider’s 1’57.500 put him one-tenth of a second clear of second place in the final Friday practice.
Miguel Oliveira – winner at the prior round in Aragon -- earned the number two time. Enea Bastianini ended his session in third another two-tenths back. In the first practice, Bastianini crashed at Turn 9. He is second in the championship behind Danny Kent who finished the day in 13th.
Thomas Luthi just pipped championship leader Johann Zarco to set the fastest time in FP1 Friday at the Motegi curcuit in Japan. With just a handful of minutes to go, Luthi at 1'51.556 clipped Zarco's class-leading time by 12-hundredths of a second. Sandro Cortese grabbed third in the session.
Zarco, who needs onyl three points to clinch the 2015 championship, finished well ahead of his only remaining mathematical rival Tito Rabat, who ended his session early because of injury. After the session, his team decided he will not race at Motegi.
Jorge Lorenzo made it clear he going to help decide the 2015 championship by setting the fastest time in the first free practice at Japan's Motegi circuit. Lorenzo, only 14 points behind championship leader Valentino Rossi, ended the clear-weather session fourth-tenths of a second ahead of the field. Andrea Iannone, fighting an injury, took the second-quickest time, closely followed by countryman Rossi.