Motor Sports

Rossi to start from pole position at Motegi GP

For the second race in a row MotoGP was a victim of severe weather conditions today, when Qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix was cancelled amidst torrential rain at the Motegi Twin Ring. The decision to abandon the session meant that the grid for tomorrow’s race was decided on the fastest times from all free practices, leaving Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi on pole and Casey Stoner in second.

This morning’s session was the first wet practice of the season and offered the riders their first chance to try out the new generation of Bridgestone rain tyres. Rossi was happy to find wet settings working well from the off and the Italian finished the session second with his Spanish team-mate in fourth.

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The rain became heavier throughout the morning and by the early afternoon there was plenty of standing water on the track. MotoGP practice was delayed until 1500 but by then it was clear that the rain was not stopping and the decision was taken to cancel the session for safety reasons. With the grid being formed on free practice times, Rossi and Lorenzo’s strong showing in the only dry session yesterday stands them in good stead for tomorrow’s race, which is expected to be dry.

Motegi GP Qualifying Times

FRONT ROW
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1’48.545
2. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 1’48.601
3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1’48.965

SECOND ROW
4. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1’49.382
5. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’49.697
6. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1’49.980

THIRD ROW

7. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda 1’50.030
8. Marco Melandri (ITA) Hayate Racing Team 1’50.123
9. Toni Elias (SPA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 1’50.209

FOURTH ROW
10. James Toseland (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’50.342
11. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 1’50.391
12. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team 1’50.393

FIFTH ROW
13. Yuki Takahashi (JPN) Scot Racing Team 1’50.404
14. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Grupo Francisco Hernando 1’50.538
15. Alex De Angelis (RSM) San Carlo Honda Gresini 1’50.601

SIXTH ROW
16. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 1’50.669
17. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Racing 1’51.643
18. Niccolo Canepa (ITA) Pramac Racing 1’51.929

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