Motegi wash-out gives Rossi pole

Valentino Rossi will start Sunday's MotoGP race at Motegi from pole position after today's qualifying session was cancelled due to heavy rain

Motegi wash-out gives Rossi pole

A torrential downpour shortly after the MotoGP practice on Saturday caused the 125cc and MotoGP qualifying session to be delayed, and the decision to cancel the day's running was taken when the rained did not let up for the rest of the afternoon in Japan.

The grid was decided on the fastest times set by each rider during the weekend's practice sessions, all of which were set on Friday as Saturday's practice session was run in wet conditions.

Rossi earned his 42nd premier class pole position with his last flying lap of Friday's session when he beat Ducati's Casey Stoner's best effort by just 0.056s. Stoner will join Rossi's works Yamaha on the front row, along with the second factory Yamaha of Jorge Lorenzo.

Suzuki and Kawasaki were among those to benefit from the Friday times being counted, with Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi sandwiching Colin Edwards - who was fastest in today's wet practice session - on the second row. Marco Melandri's Hayate Kawasaki was eigth quickest on Friday, so will start in the middle of the third row.

Andrea Dovizioso's late effort on a poor Friday for Honda became more significant as it earned him seventh on the grid, while team-mate Dani Pedrosa will start down in 11th place.

Toni Elias will start ninth on his Gresini Honda, with James Toseland's Tech 3 Yamaha completing the top 10.

Pos Rider Team Time Gap 1. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m48.545s 2. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m48.601s +0.056 3. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m48.965s +0.420 4. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 1m49.382s +0.837 5. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m49.697s +1.152 6. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m49.980s +1.435 7. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m50.030s +1.485 8. Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki 1m50.123s +1.578 9. Toni Elias Gresini Honda 1m50.209s +1.664 10. James Toseland Tech 3 Yamaha 1m50.342s +1.797 11. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m50.391s +1.846 12. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m50.393s +1.848 13. Yuki Takahashi Scot Honda 1m50.404s +1.859 14. Sete Gibernau Hernando Ducati 1m50.538s +1.993 15. Alex de Angelis Gresini Honda 1m50.601s +2.056 16. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m50.669s +2.124 17. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m51.643s +3.098 18. Niccolo Canepa Pramac Ducati 1m51.929s +3.384 
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Rain delays MotoGP qualifying sessions

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