Lorenzo emerges from the clouds to take pole position at Motegi

Jorge Lorenzo set a time of 1'53.471 to claim the top spot on the grid for tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix.

After yesterday’s and this morning’s Free Practice sessions at Motegi were cancelled due to poor weather, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo adapted best to the revised qualifying format and the wet track, setting a time of 1'53.471 to claim the top spot on the grid for tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Lorenzo’s best effort put him 0.658 of his closest challenger, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez who was the second best qualifier with a time of 1'54.129. Ducati’s Nicky Hayden had his best qualifying result of the season, rounding out the front row in third place by clocking a time of 1'54.539 on his twenty-sixth lap of the session. The highest placed CRT rider on the grid tomorrow will be Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, the newly-crowned CRT class champion was ninth quickest with a time of 1'55.719.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

The track for today’s extended Qualifying Practice session was wet, although the rainfall stopped during the session resulting in parts of the track beginning to dry slightly towards the end of the session. In addition to the rain, ambient and track temperatures were low with a peak tarmac temperature of just 17°C recorded. All riders in the qualifying session used the main wet tyre specification for Motegi, the soft compound wet tyre to ensure maximum grip in the tricky conditions. Each rider this weekend can select up to two front and two rear wet tyres in the alternative, hard compound, should they wish to run this option if conditions are wet again tomorrow.

The next MotoGP™ session on the revised Japanese Grand Prix schedule is an extended Warm Up session from 0940-1030 local time (GMT +9) tomorrow, while the twenty-four lap race is set to start at 1400.

Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“After one and a half days of poor weather which prevented any activity on track, it was great to see the riders finally get out on their bikes this afternoon. Having to go out without any previous track time and learn the track conditions, work on setup and set a qualifying time in one session must have been a real challenge to the riders but they all handled the situation very well. There are many MotoGP fans here at Motegi and they’ve had to brave the extreme conditions, so I hope they are rewarded tomorrow with an exciting race in what are hopefully, dry conditions.”

Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Conditions today were cold and wet which meant all riders preferred to run the soft compound wet tyre during qualifying, with no one trying out the alternative, hard compound wet tyre. The performance of our wet tyres today was very good, with very quick lap times and the riders were able to get up to speed quickly thanks to the warm-up performance of the soft option wets. This year at Motegi we’ve shifted our rear slick compounds one step softer, including adding a new super-soft rear slick just for the CRT riders, and I hope we have dry conditions tomorrow so the riders get to try out this new slick allocation for the Japanese Grand Prix.”

Bridgestone MotoGP

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Jorge Lorenzo , Aleix Espargaro , Marc Marquez
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing
Article type Qualifying report
Tags aoki, hayden, japan, lorenzo, marquez, motegi, yamada