Honda’s Marc Marquez eased in to secure Japanese GP MotoGP pole ahead of the two Petronas Yamaha SRT riders.
The first part of MotoGP qualifying in Japanese GP at Twin Ring Motegi had the two LCR Honda riders heading the way with Takaaki Nakagami ahead of Cal Crutchlow after the first runs in slippery conditions with the rain during FP4 session.
The complexion changed slightly in the closing stages with three riders changing hands as Nakagami went quickest again before teammate Crutchlow got back ahead with a 1m46.695s as Suzuki’s Alex Rins (1m46.964s) pushed Nakagami to third by 0.034s.
The Japanese missed out on a Q2 berth at his home grand prix but is to start 13th ahead of Pramac Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia, who had a slight off but managed to continue on. KTM’s Pol Espargaro slotted in 15th ahead of his two teammates.
Tech 3 KTM’s Miguel Oliveira was 16th with KTM’s Mika Kallio 17th as Avintia Ducati’s Karel Abraham and Honda’s Jorge Lorenzo pipped Tech 3 KTM’s Hafizh Syahrin in the closing moments to be 18th and 19th respectively.
Suzuki’s wildcard entrant Sylvain Guintoli, whose times from FP1 and FP2 was deleted due to technical infringement of running the 2020 MotoGP engine, was 21st ahead of Aprilia’s Andrea Iannone. Meanwhile, Avintia Ducati’s Tito Rabat did not a lap time.
The fight for pole had Honda’s Marc Marquez stamping his authority at the front with Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller in second from Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Franco Morbidelli to start the second session at Twin Ring Motegi.
Even though there were improvements by various riders on their second run, Marquez remained strong with a 1m45.763s to secure Japanese GP pole, his 10th of the 2019 MotoGP season as he led the two Petronas Yamaha SRT riders.
Morbidelli did well with a 1m45.895s to be second ahead of teammate Fabio Quartararo (1m45.944s) as they locked out the front row. Factory Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales was fourth with LCR Honda’s Crutchlow slotting in fifth.
After looking good early on, Miller could only manage sixth with factory Ducati pair Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci seventh and eighth respectively ahead of Aprilia’s Aleix Espagargo, Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Suzuki’s Rins and Joan Mir in Top 12.
🏁 @marcmarquez93 holds off the @sepangracing duo for pole at Motegi!@FrankyMorbido12 and @FabioQ20 will look to challenge the world champion from the front row tomorrow! ⏱️#JapaneseGP 🇯🇵 pic.twitter.com/OLK46HM3cs
— MotoGP™🏡🏁 (@MotoGP) October 19, 2019