Front row start at Motegi for Marc Marquez with Dani Pedrosa in fourth
After yesterday was completely cancelled, due to visibility problems grounding the medical helicopters, weather in Motegi had not improved by this morning. The sessions were once again cancelled, this time due to track conditions, and the entire paddock was forced to wait patiently.
Finally at 12h50 race direction deemed the track safe and the Moto3 class took to the Japanese circuit. Conditions slowly improved, although there was still a lot of standing water on track when the MotoGP class session began at 13h55. Race direction declared this session as an extended qualifying session with a time allowance of 75 minutes.
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa took to the track immediately to begin work on their setup for tomorrow’s race, as well as aiming to record a fast qualifying time for optimum grid position. Championship le ader Marc took second spot on the grid with a lap time of 1’54.129 on lap 26 of 27 – his twelfth front row start of the season. Teammate Dani Pedrosa had a slight problem on his final run and only managed fourth on the grid with a time of 1’54.542 recorded on lap 20 of 28.
The new weekend schedule, as dictated by race direction, now accommodates a 50 minute free practice session tomorrow morning from 09h40 to 10h30 (in place of the usual 20-minute warm-up), with the race remaining at 14h00.
Marc Marquez – 2nd – 1’54.129
“Today was a different kind of qualifying session, like those from the past with a lot of track time, as we had an hour and fifteen minutes. It is the first time that I’ve ridden here in MotoGP at Motegi and in addition it was wet and I didn’t have time to set the bike up, but nevertheless I think we had a good session. We achieved our aim of a spot on the front row. Tomorrow’s race is forecast to be dry, and it will be interesting as nobody has had time to find a good setup”
Dani Pedrosa – 4th – 1’54.542
“It was a long wait, but in the end we were finally able to put some laps in and I tried to get the best out of this wet session. We led the timesheet for a long time, but in the final ten minutes we had some problems with the tyres I used. I wasn’t able to ride as well as I wanted and we eventually took fourth. Tomorrow we will try to get a good start and we will see if the warmup is dry beforehand, in order to try out everything possible with the bike and tyres”
Source: Repsol Honda Team