Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo delivered stunning performances in qualifying at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, securing a double front row start for Yamaha at the Japanese manufacturer‘s home Grand Prix.
Lorenzo gave a superhuman performance after a challenging start to the second day at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. The Mallorcan suffered a big highside at the end of the FP3 session in turn 2 and had to visit the Medical Center before being helicoptered to the Dokkyo Hospital in Utsunomiya City for a CT scan. He was declared fit to continue his quest for a top result at the Japanese Grand Prix when he returned to the circuit, in time to fight back hard in FP4 and secure third place.
The current World Champion‘s efforts were equally impressive in the Q2 session. Being the last rider to start the 15-minute qualifying heat, Lorenzo made sure to leave pit lane with enough space between him and the rest of the field. After a cautious start, his second flying lap saw him post a 1‘44.399s lap, moving him up from tenth to second position before he headed back to the pit lane with a little less than seven minutes of the session remaining.
Lorenzo was soon back out on the track and, now in third place, he was ready to put the hammer down once more. Unable to further improve his time on his fifth hot lap, he was pushed down to fourth place as his teammate took over at the top of the time sheets, but he didn‘t give up. He dropped a stunning last lap of 1‘44.221s, 0.267s from pole, to start tomorrow‘s race on the first row from third place on the grid.
Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing Team wildcard rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga also had a good day at the track. He continued to make progress and positioned his YZR-M1 in 16th place on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
I feel much better than a few hours ago. The painkillers and the adrenaline of riding my bike have improved my feelings. I was scared to get injured, especially for the left leg where I had the biggest impact. It was a big crash, but I was able to make it back for qualifying and we did great, especially on the first lap time in my second stint, I didn‘t do so much on the second try. Rossi‘s lap time was incredible and also Marquez‘s time. It wasn‘t possible to make it a pole position, but it was much better than we expected when I arrived back at the track.
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