n470373_214192_valentinorossiinthefiatyamahagarage-1280x960-apr11_originaloriginal

Heavy lunchtime rain at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit led to the cancellation of all qualifying sessions for the Polini Grand Prix of Japan, leaving grid positions in all three World Championship categories to be decided according to Free Practice positions. Initially, the decision was to wait for an  hour, and then assess if the weather conditions would improve enough for qualifying to be run later in the day. However with the rain being unrelenting, there was nothing left for Race Direction to do but to cancel the qualifying sessions for all three classes. As such, Valentino Rossi will start at the Japanese GP’s pole position for the first time in his career. 

 

While the starting grid positions were based on times from both practices sessions, all of the timed laps were faster in the first free practice session, which had dry conditions. This proves to be unfortunate for Colin Edwards who eeked out Rossi in the went conditions of FP2. Rossi will share the front row with series leader Casey Stoner and teammate Jorge Lorenzo, the same three riders who made up the front row as at the first race of the year in Qatar. 

Chris Vermeulen along with Colin Edwards and Loris Capirossi will be sitting on the second row. Edwards proved to be the fastest in the rain, and Capriossi has won at Motegi three times before, so they could be tapping on the doors of the front three come Sunday.

 

Free Practice 1 & Qualifying Times for MotoGP at Motegi:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 1’48.545    
2 27 Casey STONER DUCATI 1’48.601 0.056 0.056
3 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1’48.965 0.420 0.364
4 7 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 1’49.382 0.837 0.417
5 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 1’49.697 1.152 0.315
6 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 1’49.980 1.435 0.283
7 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 1’50.030 1.485 0.050
8 33 Marco MELANDRI KAWASAKI 1’50.123 1.578 0.093
9 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 1’50.209 1.664 0.086
10 52 James TOSELAND YAMAHA 1’50.342 1.797 0.133
11 3 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1’50.391 1.846 0.049
12 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 1’50.393 1.848 0.002
13 72 Yuki TAKAHASHI HONDA 1’50.404 1.859 0.011
14 59 Sete GIBERNAU DUCATI 1’50.538 1.993 0.134
15 15 Alex DE ANGELIS HONDA 1’50.601 2.056 0.063
16 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 1’50.669 2.124 0.068
17 36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 1’51.643 3.098 0.974
18 88 Niccolo CANEPA DUCATI 1’51.929 3.384 0.286

 

Source: MotoGP