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It's Lorenzo's pole at Motegi

2013-10-26 11:34

LORENZO POLE AT MOTEGI: Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo does the usual to celebrate his pole position for the 2013 Japanese MotoGP at Motegi Twin ring. Marc Marquez will be alongside him - and the championship hinges on the result. Image: AFP


Rain, storms, no practice, fear... anathema to all MotoGP racers, but Lorenzo won through to pole for Motegi 2013. And Marquez...?

MOTEGI, Japan - World champion Jorge Lorenzo continued his fight to keep his MotoGP title by taking pole for 2013 Japanese MotoGP in a wet qualifying session at the weather-disrupted track on Saturday.

The Yamaha rider swept around the circuit in 1min53.471 on the 24th of 25 laps to top the time sheets ahead of fellow Spaniard Marc Marquez, who could seal the title in his rookie season on Sunday if he outscores Lorenzo by eight points.

Friday's entire practice programme was wiped out by fog and rain with the rain also forcing the cancellation of Saturday morning's free practice session and leading to the extended 75-minute qualifying session.


American Nicky Hayden rounded out the front row for Ducati with Marquez's Honda team mate Dani Pedrosa, winner here for the previous two years, relegated to the second row in fourth.

A mistake from Marquez's team blew the 20-year-old's chance of clinching the title in Australia a week earlier when he was disqualified but he gets second chance in the penultimate race of the season on Sunday.

A seventh victory of his sensational debut season, combined with anything worse than second for Lorenzo, would make him the youngest champion in the top class of MotoGP and he was delighted with second on the grid, given the conditions.

"It was quite difficult, it was my first time in Motegi, first time in qualifying without any practice sessions, in wet ,and I took more risks than usual," he said, "but we did a very good job because our target was the front row and we did it. We're hoping for a dry race."


The Honda-owned track was still slick with rain when the bikes finally got out of their garages for the first time this weekend and Marquez, Pedrosa and Hayden all set quickest times before Lorenzo took charge.

Lorenzo said it had been tough having to push hard while riding in wet conditions for the first time since he broke a collarbone in a crash in the Dutch round of the championship in June.

"I'm very happy to get this second pole in a row," the double World champion, who won in Australia the previous week to cut Marquez's championship lead to 18 points. "It was hard because the last time I rode in the wet was in Assen, so at the beginning I was careful and not so confident and a bit scared.

"Little by little, I got better and in the end did a very good lap. Tomorrow is probably going to be dry so let's see what happens."

2013 Japanese MotoGP qualifying result
1 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 1min53.471
2 Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda 1min54.129
3 Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati 1min54.539
4 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 1min54.542
5 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 1min54.732
6 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati 1min55.036
7 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda 1min55.135
8 Stefan Bradl (Germany) Honda 1min55.610
9 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Aprilia 1min55.719
10 Yonny Hernandez (Colombia) Aprilia 1min55.998
Read more on:    yamaha  |  ducati  |  honda  |  lorenzo  |  pedrosa  |  marquez

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