Motegi MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo takes commanding pole

Jorge Lorenzo took a commanding pole position as the weather-disrupted Motegi MotoGP weekend went straight into qualifying

Motegi MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo takes commanding pole

With all the practice sessions having been cancelled due to either fog or rain, the usual qualifying format was shelved in favour of a single 75-minute session that would both set the grid and give riders some practice time.

This began on a very wet track, but was drying throughout.

As the pole fight began to get serious, Nicky Hayden gave Ducati a brief spell on the provisional top spot before being deposed by Dani Pedrosa's Honda.

But when Lorenzo hooked up a lap, the Yamaha team leader blew his rivals away by six tenths of a second.

He then extended that margin to a full second on his next run.

Lorenzo's title rival Marc Marquez was down in fifth at that point having taken a trip through the gravel.

He recovered to second, 0.6s down on Lorenzo, before sliding off track again.

Hayden hung on to third to keep Ducati on the front row.

Pedrosa fell back to fourth, ahead of Valentino Rossi and Hayden's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

Alvaro Bautista had been in the top five heading into the final stages, but sidelined his Gresini Honda with a crash and was left in seventh.

The recovering Stefan Bradl took eighth on his return following the fractured ankle he suffered at Sepang two weeks ago.

CRT pacesetter Aleix Espargaro and Pramac Ducati's Yonny Hernandez completed the top 10, as Tech 3 team-mates Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith struggled to 11th and 13th, split by Yamaha wildcard Katsuyuki Nakasuga.

Pos  Rider               Team/Bike             Time       Gap
 1.  Jorge Lorenzo       Yamaha                1m53.471s
 2.  Marc Marquez        Honda                 1m54.129s  +0.658s
 3.  Nicky Hayden        Ducati                1m54.539s  +1.068s
 4.  Dani Pedrosa        Honda                 1m54.542s  +1.071s
 5.  Valentino Rossi     Yamaha                1m54.732s  +1.261s
 6.  Andrea Dovizioso    Ducati                1m55.036s  +1.565s
 7.  Alvaro Bautista     Gresini Honda         1m55.135s  +1.664s
 8.  Stefan Bradl        LCR Honda             1m55.610s  +2.139s
 9.  Aleix Espargaro     Aspar Aprilia         1m55.719s  +2.248s
10.  Yonny Hernandez     Pramac Ducati         1m55.998s  +2.527s
11.  Cal Crutchlow       Tech 3 Yamaha         1m56.058s  +2.587s
12.  Katsuyuki Nakasuga  Yamaha                1m56.125s  +2.654s
13.  Bradley Smith       Tech 3 Yamaha         1m57.114s  +3.643s
14.  Colin Edwards       Forward FTR-Kawasaki  1m57.297s  +3.826s
15.  Andrea Iannone      Pramac Ducati         1m57.347s  +3.876s
16.  Danilo Petrucci     Ioda-Suter-BMW        1m57.540s  +4.069s
17.  Randy de Puniet     Aspar Aprilia         1m57.715s  +4.244s
18.  Hiroshi Aoyama      Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  1m57.994s  +4.523s
19.  Michael Laverty     PBM Aprilia           1m58.540s  +5.069s
20.  Luca Scassa         Cardion Aprilia       1m58.802s  +5.331s
21.  Claudio Corti       Forward FTR-Kawasaki  1m59.617s  +6.146s
22.  Hector Barbera      Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  1m59.646s  +6.175s
23.  Damian Cudlin       PBM-Aprilia           2m00.982s  +7.511s
24.  Bryan Staring       Gresini FTR-Honda     2m02.712s  +9.241s
25.  Lukas Pesek         Ioda-Suter-BMW        2m02.932s  +9.461s
shares
comments
Motegi MotoGP could be one-day event if fog continues
Previous article

Motegi MotoGP could be one-day event if fog continues

Next article

Ben Spies announces retirement from racing

Ben Spies announces retirement from racing
The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title Plus

The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title

Ducati has littered the grid with eight strong motorcycles that has ensured it has had at least one rider stand on the podium at every grand prix in 2022. The drama of the Aragon Grand Prix has thrust Francesco Bagnaia well and truly into title contention with five races to go, and Ducati must now consider utilising a unique strength it has so far been reticent to embrace

MotoGP
Sep 19, 2022
How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects Plus

How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects

Reigning Moto2 champion Remy Gardner’s career has been derailed by KTM’s decision not to retain him at Tech3 for 2023. Amid difficult circumstances, Gardner hasn’t shamed himself. But KTM’s apparent reasoning for dropping him raises questions about its handling of its young riders and the unrealistic expectations placed on them

MotoGP
Sep 6, 2022
Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP Plus

Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP

OPINION: Honda is in the midst of a second winless season in the space of three years. The absence of the injured Marc Marquez has been a major contributing factor, but HRC’s inability to alter its own approach has seen it slide down the order. Marquez returned to the MotoGP paddock in Austria and provided a rallying cry Honda needed to hear.

MotoGP
Aug 22, 2022
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Plus

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former team-mate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time Plus

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Plus

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Plus

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022
The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader Plus

The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader

Coinciding with the arrival of Massimo Rivola as head of its MotoGP division, Aprilia has undergone an internal revolution that has spurred it from occupying last place in the team standings to leading the table in the space of just two years. Those entrenched in the project reveal how the ex-Ferrari F1 chief has achieved the dramatic turnaround

MotoGP
Jul 15, 2022