MotoGP: Lap Record Falls in the Land of the Rising Sun During Qualifying

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With MotoGP action finally coming to Japan this season, qualifying at the Twin Rings Motegi Circuit was underway this Saturday. Despite the posturing of the GP riders before the Japanese GP, all of MotoGP’s riders have been in attendance this weekend, with the only exception being Ben Spies who has been present more in body than in spirit, as the American has been battling a bout of food poisoning all week. Helping bulster the ranks further, was an increased showing by HRC, which added test riders Kousuke Akiyoshi and Shinichi Ito to mix on a second LRC Honda bike and HRC wild card bike, respectively.

With the rider’s boycott null and void, attention in the MotoGP paddock could finally focus on racing at Motegi, and the pace was scorching during the qualifying session. With the “best lap” record dropping in the final minutes of the QP, the last year of the 800cc class MotoGP race bikes is certainly not going gently into that good night. With riders pushing the envelope right until the end of the session, qualifying at Motegi was an exciting battle for the pole position. Click through the jump to see the qualifying results.

Qualifying Results from the Japanese GP at Motegi, Japan:

Pos. No. Rider Nation Team Bike Time Diff.
1 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’45.267
2 1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1’45.523 0.256
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’45.791 0.524
4 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’45.966 0.699
5 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1’46.042 0.775
6 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 1’46.211 0.944
7 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1’46.467 1.200
8 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 1’46.586 1.319
9 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 1’46.694 1.427
10 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 1’46.763 1.496
11 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 1’46.811 1.544
12 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1’46.818 1.551
13 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 1’46.917 1.650
14 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1’47.165 1.898
15 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 1’47.922 2.655
16 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 1’48.169 2.902
17 64 Kousuke AKIYOSHI JPN LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 1’48.367 3.100
18 6 Damian CUDLIN AUS Pramac Racing Team Ducati 1’48.962 3.695
19 72 Shinichi ITO JPN Honda Racing Team Honda 1’49.971 4.704

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Honda