Bike News

26 October 2013

Lorenzo takes pole at rain-lashed Motegi

Rain wreaks havoc in Japan as the world champion goes quickest in qualifying

Amaan Ahmed
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While most eyes are transfixed on Sebastian Vettel's imminent crowning as F1 world champion (yet again) at the BIC, there's another showdown that's attracting quite a bit of attention - Jorge Lorenzo, after reducing Marc Marquez's lead to a mere 18 points last weekend at Phillip Island, has secured pole position at the Twin Ring Motegi again today.

In what could best be described as "treacherous" conditions (with the rain and fog and whatnot), Race Direction decided to not have any Practice sessions at all in the best interests of rider safety. The first session at Motegi was to be the Qualifying session today, and this wasn't like your usual Q1-Q2 do. The session period was extended to 75 minutes, and the rules were simple. Go as fast as your bike permits. Don't kill yourself. Fastest man gets pole. Real simple.

Lorenzo had no trouble posting the fastest lap on the timesheets, and looked like he had taken it by well over a second, before Marquez slotted into second place on his final flying lap. Nicky Hayden took third, his first front row start since Jerez last year.

The second row is headed by Dani Pedrosa, who, at least mathematically, can still beat both Lorenzo and Marquez to the title, followed by Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso. Alvaro Bautista will start in seventh ahead of Stefan Bradl, Aleix Espargaro and Yonny Hernandez, with the German returning after having recovered from his ankle injury.

Briton Cal Crutchlow had a miserable time in Qualifying, lapping 11th fastest, with team-mate Bradley Smith behind wildcard entrant Katsuyuki Nakasuga.

Marquez can still seal it tomorrow at the Twin Ring, if he manages to finish on the podium and Lorenzo doesn't. It won't be that easy, however, and now it seems like it will boil down to the last race in Valencia. Can Lorenzo drag this to the final race of the season?

Qualifying:
1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Marc Marquez
3. Nicky Hayden
4. Dani Pedrosa
5. Valentino Rossi
6. Andrea Dovizioso
7. Alvaro Bautista
8. Stefan Bradl
9. Aleix Espargaro
10. Yonny Hernandez
11. Cal Crutchlow
12. Katsuyuki Nakasuga
13. Bradley Smith
14. Colin Edwards
15. Andrea Iannone
16. Danilo Petrucci
17. Randy De Puniet
18. Hiroshi Aoyama
19. Michael Laverty
20. Luca Scassa
21. Claudio Corti
22. Hector Barbera
23. Damian Cudlin

Tags: motegi, marc marquez, repsol honda, valentino rossi, jorge lorenzo, moto gp, motogp

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