MOTEGI, Japan — official series release — MotoGP photo —
Jorge Lorenzo came out on top in an epic duel with Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi to earn his fourth MotoGP pole of the season during qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.
Lorenzo enjoyed an incredible duel with Rossi during the 15-minute second session, eventually coming out on top by just 0.081 seconds. The Spaniard, who has topped every session so far at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan, ended up setting the fastest ever lap by a MotoGP bike at Twin Ring Motegi.
Lorenzo turned a 1:43.790 lap, knocking over seven-tenths off Andrea Dovizioso’s 2014 track record (1:44.502).
“I did the maximum and I am very happy with my pole position,” Rossi said. “The humidity that came in the last hour also didn’t help me to enter the corners with confidence like I could in the morning. I struggled a little bit, trying not to crash, but I gave my all and it‘s a good lap time.”
Lorenzo leads Rossi by 14 points in the championship battle heading into Sunday’s race.
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez impressed despite riding with a broken bone in his left hand to finish third fastest. It is the 13th time this season the reigning MotoGP champion has been on the front row.
The Ducati duo of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone qualified fourth and fifth, with Marquez’s Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa sixth.
CREDIT: MotoGP Communications