Dani Pedrosa 3rd, Marc Marquez 4th on Motegi grid

 In MotoGP, News


The Repsol Honda riders will start this Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix from the first and second rows of the grid, respectively, after today’s qualifying session at Motegi. Dani Pedrosa will take off from third, whilst Marc Marquez claimed fourth.

Throughout the day, in both the third and fourth free practice sessions, both riders showed their high level at the Honda-owned track.

Marquez, who tomorrow has a first chance to be crowned MotoGP World Champion a second time, was the fastest in the morning session, with Pedrosa eighth and 6 tenths off the best time set by his teammate. In the fourth practice session, there was great equality amongst the best riders in the category.

The best time, set by Jorge Lorenzo, was followed closely by the Repsol Honda duo. Pedrosa finished second, 0.052s behind Lorenzo, with Marquez 0.090s back on the top spot.

In the qualifying session Pedrosa proved faster than his teammate, who at the end of the session has not managed to improve his time. Pedrosa set the third fastest time of the session –1:44.755– just 0.253 behind poleman Andrea Dovizioso.

He had a small crash just after the tunnel section when on his last attempt to take pole position. Marquez had to settle for fourth fastest –1:44.775– but is optimistic about his pace for the race tomorrow.

Dani Pedrosa
“I’m happy today because we had a good qualifying session and were setting some good times. Unfortunately I crashed on the last lap, almost at the final corner, when I was going quickly to try to get pole position. Luckily I’m fine and tomorrow I will try to use this front row spot to get a good start. It could be a very tight race, because there are many riders who have shown a good pace and this is a circuit that allows for very close lap times. We’ll see what happens but we will strive to do our best and we will remain fully focused. It will be important to ride with skill and bravery”.

Marc Marquez
“I’m happy, even though we didn’t achieve our goal of getting onto the front row, because we have improved ahead of tomorrow. The pace that we have is good. It’s a pity that we didn’t find a perfect lap in qualifying, but we are confident for tomorrow and ready to fight for the win. Our pace is similar to that of Rossi, Pedrosa and Lorenzo and this is important. We also shouldn’t overlook Dovizioso, who also has a very good pace on race tyres”.

Source: Repsol Media

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