Jorge Lorenzo takes pole position at Motegi
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo has been the man to beat so far and continued to set a high bar during qualifying. He will start the Grand Prix of Japan weekend from pole position 0.081s ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi, who was the only other rider to lap in the 1‘43s at Twin Ring Motegi circuit and secured a second place on the grid.
Eager to chase his third consecutive win at Motegi, Lorenzo was quick to exit pit lane at the start of the 15-minute qualifying heat. His first flying lap of 1‘44.768s gave him provisional pole, until his rivals completed their first laps, dropping him to fourth.
He quickly returned to the pits with nine minutes remaining for a quick stop and returned to a relatively empty track a minute later as it was the other riders turn to change tyres. The Spaniard took the opportunity with both hands and posted the first ever 1‘43 MotoGP lap of 1‘43.990s on his next hot lap to reclaim pole.
With more than three minutes remaining Lorenzo hurried back to the box to change bikes and complete his three-stint strategy. When he rejoined the action he had just enough time left for one last time attack. Having been pushed to second place by his teammate in the final minute, but he had one more trick up his sleeve. He put his head down and set a sensational 1‘43.790s lap to secure his fourth pole position of the season.
I did the maximum and I am very happy with my pole position. The humidity that came in the last hour also didn’t help me to enter the corners with confidence like I could in the morning. I struggled a little bit, trying not to crash, but I gave my all and it‘s a good lap time.
Source: Yamaha Racing