Valentino Rossi grabbed his third pole position of the season when he became the lone rider to dip into the 1'43s Saturday at the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit. Rossi's qualifying time of 1'43.954 in the session's final minutes put him one-tenth clear of title-rival Marc Marquez (2nd), who had dominated much of the practice at the Japanese circuit this weekend.
Jorge Lorenzo continued his strong, post-highside form when he seized the final spot on the front row with a 1'44.221. Lorenzo, who was stretchered off the track after a hard crash in FP3, stayed near the top of the timesheet for much of the qualifying practice. Andrea Dovizioso held position in fourth with Cal Crutchlow (5th) and Aleix Espargaro (6th) completing the second row.
Maverick Vinales (7th) didn't improve from FP4 and again finshed just behind his Suzuki teammate. Hector Barbara took eighth on the grid, a full second back from the pole position. Pol Espargaro (9th) completed the third row, just ahead of Scott Redding (10th) who was the second-fastest qualifier in Q1.
The first fastest Q1 qualifier, Alvaro Bautista, crashed his Aprilia early session and didn't return. Aprilia narrowly missed out on having both of its factory bikes advance to Q2 for the first time this season. In the dying seconds of Q1, Redding just pushed Stefan Bradl into 13th on his final lap.
Rossi's pole position ties all three front-row starters at 64 pole positions for their respective careers.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time||Diff. / Prev.|
|2||93||Marc MARQUEZ||Honda||1'44.134||0.180 / 0.180|
|3||99||Jorge LORENZO||Yamaha||1'44.221||0.267 / 0.087|
|4||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||1'44.294||0.340 / 0.073|
|5||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||Honda||1'44.402||0.448 / 0.108|
|6||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||Suzuki||1'44.494||0.540 / 0.092|
|7||25||Maverick VIÑALES||Suzuki||1'44.539||0.585 / 0.045|
|8||8||Hector BARBERA||Ducati||1'44.980||1.026 / 0.441|
|9||44||Pol ESPARGARO||Yamaha||1'45.232||1.278 / 0.252|
|10||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||Ducati||1'45.782||1.828 / 0.550|
|11||45||Scott REDDING||Ducati||1'45.827||1.873 / 0.045|
|13||6||Stefan BRADL||Aprilia||1'45.823||0.209 / 0.115|
|14||43||Jack MILLER||Honda||1'46.347||0.733 / 0.524|
|15||38||Bradley SMITH||Yamaha||1'46.593||0.979 / 0.246|
|16||21||Katsuyuki NAKASUGA||Yamaha||1'46.627||1.013 / 0.034|
|17||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||Ducati||1'46.705||1.091 / 0.078|
|18||53||Tito RABAT||Honda||1'46.753||1.139 / 0.048|
|19||50||Eugene LAVERTY||Ducati||1'47.060||1.446 / 0.307|
|20||76||Loris BAZ||Ducati||1'47.501||1.887 / 0.441|
|21||7||Mike JONES||Ducati||1'47.631||2.017 / 0.130|
|22||73||Hiroshi AOYAMA||Honda||1'47.788||2.174 / 0.157|