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Rossi nips Marquez for pole at Motegi

Equals Marquez and Lorenzo with pole number 64
Saturday, October 15, 2016


Rossi charges to pole
Rossi charges to pole

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will start from pole at the Twin Ring Motegi for the Japanese GP, as the Italian legend fought off Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) in a close Q2 to take his 64th pole -- and equal the record number of pole positions held by both Marquez and Rossi's teammate Jorge Lorenzo.

Day 2 at the Twin Ring Motegi was characterized by more somewhat uncharacteristic sunshine, with the venue providing near-perfect conditions as Q2 got underway. Marquez was the early leader in the session after also going fastest in FP3 and FP4, with the Championship leader then finding himself trailing Rossi on a hot lap and running wide -- as the Italian then took over at the top. Marquez lost his final attempt after an incident in front of him on track for LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow, rolling off and ruing the lost chance.

A battered and bruised Lorenzo, following his highside in FP3, came back in stunning 'Spartan' style in qualifying to grit his teeth through the pain barrier -- something the Mallorcan has previous form in after, most memorably, coming home in the top five at Assen in 2013 after breaking his collarbone on the Thursday. Reigning Champion Lorenzo lines up on the front row in P3.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was fourth quickest as the lead bike from the Borgo Panigale factory, with former teammate Crutchlow crashing in the final minutes of the session. The Brno winner kept P5 on the timesheets to line up on the second row however, with that row completed by Team Suzuki Ecstar's Aleix Espargaro. Espargaro outpaced teammate Maverick Vinales at the Hamamatsu factory's home race, with the younger Spaniard lining up in P7.

Hector Barbera (Ducati Team) had a solid session as he replaces injured Andrea Iannone to qualify eighth, with Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completing the top ten.

Q1 graduates Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) reversed positions in Q2 as the Brit qualified P11, after Bautista suffered a fall early in the session.

Lights go out for the Motul Grand Prix of Japan at 14:00 local time (GMT +9), as Marquez readies himself for the possibility of taking the title ???????? and Rossi and Lorenzo square up to stop him.


1ROSSI Valentino 46ITAMovistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha1'43.954
2MARQUEZ Marc 93SPARepsol Honda TeamHonda1'44.134
3LORENZO Jorge 99SPAMovistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha1'44.221
4DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4ITADucati TeamDucati1'44.294
5CRUTCHLOW Cal 35GBRLCR HondaHonda1'44.402
6ESPARGARO Aleix 41SPATeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki1'44.494
7VINALES Maverick 25SPATeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki1'44.539
8BARBERA Hector 8SPADucati TeamDucati1'44.980
9ESPARGARO Pol 44SPAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha1'45.232
10PETRUCCI Danilo 9ITAOcto Pramac RacingDucati1'45.782
11REDDING Scott 45GBROcto Pramac RacingDucati1'45.827
12BAUTISTA Alvaro 19SPAAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia1'45.614
13BRADL Stefan 6GERAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia1'45.823 (Q2)
14MILLER Jack 43AUSEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDSHonda1'46.347 (Q2)
15SMITH Bradley 38GBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha1'46.593 (Q2)
16NAKASUGA Katsuyuki 21JPNYamaha Factory Racing TeamYamaha1'46.627 (Q2)
17HERNANDEZ Yonny 68COLAspar MotoGP TeamDucati1'46.705 (Q2)
18RABAT Tito 53SPAEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDSHonda1'46.753 (Q2)
19LAVERTY Eugene 50IREAspar MotoGP TeamDucati1'47.060 (Q2)
20BAZ Loris 76FRAAvintia RacingDucati1'47.501 (Q2)
21JONES Mike 7AUSAvintia RacingDucati1'47.631 (Q2)
22AOYAMA Hiroshi 73JPNRepsol Honda TeamHonda1'47.788 (Q2)

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