Following on from a soaking wet morning at Motegi, the weather disruption continued into the qualifying sessions, the rain getting particularly heavy by the time the intermediate class tackled Q2. So much so that the red flag waved a handful of minutes into the session and led to over an hour of delays, but it was definitely worth the wait for Aron Canet, who topped Q1 and then proceeded to dominate the restarted Q2 session. The Spaniard claimed his third pole position of the season with an advantage of seven tenths of a second over Jake Dixon, who inherited second when Fermín Aldeguer’s top time got cancelled for a yellow flag infringement. The penalty also promoted Tony Arbolino to the front row of the grid, dropping Aldeguer to the back of the second row, behind Somkiat Chantra and Filip Salac.
Despite a late tumble at turn four, Jorge Navarro kept seventh position, opening the third row ahead of Q1 graduates Cameron Beaubier and Keminth Kubo, while Barry Baltus rounded out the top 10 positions. The main title contenders seemed less keen to risk it all in the post-red flag Q2 rush and that saw Augusto Fernandez dropping down to 11th position and Ai Ogura to 13th place on the grid, with Alonso Lopez in between.
With his injury woes probably still fresh on his mind, Pedro Acosta also took it easy and ended Q2 last, over four seconds behind the poleman. On the topic of injuries, Sam Lowes’ return to action meant a return to the gravel as well, with a big tumble in Q1 leaving him out of the Q2 drama and down in 24th grid position. Meanwhile, Celestino Vietti also abandoned the fight in Q1, only qualifying 22nd.
|16||84||Zonta Van Den Goorbergh||Kalex||2:08.284||3.345||0.453|
|19||19||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Kalex||2:06.790||1.247||0.277|
|25||4||Sean Dylan Kelly||Kalex||2:08.067||2.524||0.644|
|27||42||Marcos Ramirez||MV Agusta||2:09.131||3.588||0.447|
|28||24||Simone Corsi||MV Agusta||2:09.950||4.407||0.819|