Motegi MotoGP: Lorenzo pips Yamaha team-mate Rossi to pole

Jorge Lorenzo denied Yamaha team-mate and title rival Valentino Rossi pole position for the Japanese MotoGP in a qualifying shootout

Motegi MotoGP: Lorenzo pips Yamaha team-mate Rossi to pole

Lorenzo maintained his perfect record of topping every session at Motegi this weekend, but had to secure his fourth pole position of the season after the chequered flag was shown.

The two-time world champion set the pace from the outset, and became the first MotoGP rider to record a sub-1m44s lap at the circuit, with a 1m43.990s.

Entering the final minute, that was 0.232 seconds ahead of Rossi, but the Italian improved to a 1m43.871s after the chequered flag to take top spot by 0.119s.

However, Rossi's advantage was fleeting, with Lorenzo improving to 1m43.790s moments later to snatch pole by just 0.081s.

Lorenzo's final run was completed after a change to the soft-compound option front tyre.

Honda's Marc Marquez improved late but was still 0.426s behind Lorenzo.

He will start third, ahead of Ducati pair Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, Dani Pedrosa, Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro and Cal Crutchlow.

Bradley Smith will start ninth, despite crashing twice in the 15-minute session - once at Turn 5, then at Turn 12 - to take his tally to three for the day.

Maverick Vinales and Scott Redding advanced from Q1 and will start 10th and 12th, while Honda wildcard Takumi Takahashi will line-up 19th for his MotoGP debut.

DE ANGELIS HOSPITALISED

Alex de Angelis was taken to Dokkyo Hospital in Mibu after crashing heavily during the fourth practice session.

The San Marino rider was reported to be conscious and breathing before being airlifted away for further examination and treatment.

QUALIFYING RESULTS:

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha 1m43.790s -
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m43.871s 0.081s
3 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m44.216s 0.426s
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m44.322s 0.532s
5 Andrea Iannone Ducati Ducati 1m44.436s 0.646s
6 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 1m44.582s 0.792s
7 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki Suzuki 1m44.809s 1.019s
8 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1m44.932s 1.142s
9 Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 1m45.067s 1.277s
10 Maverick Vinales Suzuki Suzuki 1m45.081s 1.291s
11 Pol Espargaro Tech 3 Yamaha 1m45.219s 1.429s
12 Scott Redding Marc VDS Honda 1m45.333s 1.543s
13 Stefan Bradl Aprilia Gresini Aprilia 1m45.432s 1.642s
14 Yonny Hernandez Pramac Racing Ducati 1m45.438s 1.648s
15 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha Yamaha 1m45.496s 1.706s
16 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia Gresini Aprilia 1m45.608s 1.818s
17 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Racing Ducati 1m45.691s 1.901s
18 Hector Barbera Avintia Racing Ducati 1m45.724s 1.934s
19 Takumi Takahashi Honda Honda 1m45.743s 1.953s
20 Eugene Laverty Aspar Honda 1m45.751s 1.961s
21 Nicky Hayden Aspar Honda 1m45.843s 2.053s
22 Jack Miller LCR Honda 1m46.039s 2.249s
23 Loris Baz Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 1m46.048s 2.258s
24 Mike Di Meglio Avintia Racing Ducati 1m46.179s 2.389s
25 Toni Elias Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 1m46.256s 2.466s
26 Kosuke Akiyoshi AB Motoracing Honda 1m47.760s 3.970s
1001 Alex de Angelis IodaRacing Project ART/Aprilia 1m48.192s 4.402s


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