Motegi MotoGP: Lorenzo fastest in first practice, Rossi third

Jorge Lorenzo shrugged off his shoulder injury to set the pace at Motegi in the opening Japanese Grand Prix practice session, with title rival Valentino Rossi four tenths back in third.

Lorenzo closed to within 14 points of Rossi following his dominant Aragon victory, with only four races now remaining.

He showed no sign of his recent sprained shoulder injury, incurred after he fell of a minibike at a barbecue last weekend, apart from grimacing when he puts his leathers on.

Story of the session

Rossi was the early pacesetter on 1m46.265s, 0.753s quicker than Lorenzo’s first flyer.

Lorenzo then found his groove with a 1m46.110s, to grab the top spot by 0.097s, as Rossi fractionally lowered his best time to 1m46.207s.

Lorenzo worked down to 1m45.654s on his first run, with Ducati’s Andrea Iannone – complete with recently dislocated shoulder – rising to second on 1m46.077s.

Bradley Smith ran longer than most of his rivals on his Tech 3 Yamaha, and went second fastest after 15 minutes, the second rider to breach the 1m46s barrier with a 1m45.937s. Those improvements dropped Rossi to fourth, ahead of Marc Marquez on the quickest Honda.

On his second run, Rossi immediately rose to third on 1m46.051s but Dani Pedrosa leapt to second on 1m45.896s.

Lorenzo produced a 1m45.731s despite a mistake, then showed what he could really do with a 1m45.455s to lower the P1 time to 0.441s clear of the rest.

Teammate Rossi retaliated with P2 on 1m45.844s, 0.389s off Lorenzo’s pace at the time.

Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso jumped to fourth on 1m45.947s, with Marquez – who is riding with a broken finger after a mountain bike training mishap – working his time down to 1m45.965s but slipping down the order relative to his rivals.

Iannone rose to second on his third run, with a lap of 1m45.827s.

Lorenzo lowered the bar yet further with his final lap of the session, a 1m45.432s which was 0.395s clear of Iannone and 0.4s quicker than Rossi.

Smith was fourth after setting a late 1m45.888s, ahead of Pedrosa, Dovizioso and a sluggish Marquez, who was over half a second off the pace.

A couple of fallers

Incidents were few and far between: Pol Espargaro suffered a trip into the Turn 11 gravel, while Jack Miller had a slow-speed tumble at the Turn 10 hairpin.

Stefan Bradl jumped to ninth before binning his Aprilia at Turn 11. He slipped back to 10th by the end of the session.

PosRiderTeamBikeTimeGap
Jorge Lorenzo  Movistar Yamaha MotoGP  Yamaha YZR-M1  1:45.432  1:45.432 
Andrea Iannone  Ducati Team  Ducati Desmosedici GP15  1:45.827  +0.395 
Valentino Rossi  Movistar Yamaha MotoGP  Yamaha YZR-M1  1:45.844  +0.412 
Bradley Smith  Monster Yamaha Tech 3  Yamaha YZR-M1  1:45.888  +0.456 
Dani Pedrosa  Repsol Honda Team  Honda RC213V  1:45.896  +0.464 
Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team  Ducati Desmosedici GP15  1:45.947  +0.515 
Marc Marquez  Repsol Honda Team  Honda RC213V  1:45.965  +0.533 
Aleix Espargaro  Team Suzuki ECSTAR  Suzuki GSX-RR  1:46.234  +0.802 
Pol Espargaro  Monster Yamaha Tech 3  Yamaha YZR-M1  1:46.323  +0.891 
10  Stefan Bradl  Aprilia Racing Team Gresini  Aprilia RS-GP  1:46.371  +0.939 
11  Cal Crutchlow  CWM LCR Honda  Honda RC213V  1:46.551  +1.119 
12  Hector Barbera  Avintia Racing  Ducati Desmosedici GP14  1:46.699  +1.267 
13  Maverick Viñales  Team Suzuki ECSTAR  Suzuki GSX-RR  1:46.765  +1.333 
14  Yonny Hernandez Pramac Racing  Ducati Desmosedici GP14  1:47.073  +1.641 
15   Takumi Takahashi Team HRC with Nissin Honda RC213V  1:47.079  +1.647 
16  Scott Redding  Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS  Honda RC213V  1:47.171  +1.739 
17  Nicky Hayden  Aspar MotoGP Team  Honda RC213V-RS  1:47.181  +1.749 
18   Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha YZR-M1  1:47.184  +1.752 
19  Alvaro Bautista  Aprilia Racing Team Gresini  Aprilia RS-GP  1:47.304  +1.872 
20  Danilo Petrucci  Pramac Racing  Ducati Desmosedici GP14  1:47.364  +1.932 
21  Mike di Meglio  Avintia Racing  Ducati Desmosedici GP14  1:47.503  +2.071 
22  Jack Miller  CWM LCR Honda  Honda  1:47.539  +2.107 
23  Toni Elias  Athinà Forward Racing  Yamaha Forward  1:47.626  +2.194 
24  Loris Baz  Athinà Forward Racing  Yamaha Forward  1:48.083  +2.651 
25  Eugene Laverty  Aspar MotoGP Team  Honda RC213V-RS  1:48.625  +3.193 
26  Alex de Angelis  Octo IodaRacing Team  ART  1:49.277  +3.845 
27   Kosuke Akiyoshi AB Motoracing  Honda RC213V-RS  1:49.846  +4.414 

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Japanese GP
Track Twin Ring Motegi
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Dani Pedrosa , Marc Marquez
Article type Practice report