Lorenzo surges to Japan pole

Jorge Lorenzo produced a track record late in the session to snatch pole away from MotoGP title rival Dani Pedrosa for Sunday's race in Japan.

MotoGP News: Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Setting a new track record with the only time in the 1.44s, Lorenzo pushed Repsol Honda Team's Dani Pedrosa into second on the grid, after the Spaniard had looked to be taking pole shortly before the end. 

Whilst Lorenzo expressed surprise at the high pace of the field, Pedrosa cited some chattering problems as the cause he could not push any harder. Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow completes the row in third, with the Brit doing very well to save a near crash after scoring his seventh front row start this season. He stated afterwards that an unusual vibration within the bike was the cause of the incident, and he and the team will work to resolve it before the race on Sunday.

Heading row two is Yamaha's Ben Spies, who suffered an awkward crash in the dying seconds of the session, yet did not obstruct anyone on their hot lap. Lining up next to him in fifth is San Carlo Honda Gresini's Álvaro Bautista, after his and the team's suspension set-up work looked to be yielding the positive results they were looking for. 

He will also be boosted for Sunday's race, after his future was confirmed with the team for next season. Sixth spot is occupied by Crutchlow's teammate Andrea Dovizioso, who appeared to be on-course for a higher grid spot, but could not squeeze out those extra tenths needed, after an overheating brake caused him to pit for a lengthy spell.

Watch: Lorenzo wins pole for Japanese GP... More Videos


Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner heads the third row in seventh, with the Australian still struggling slightly with the bike on his return from injury. Stoner commented that the immobility in his foot is reducing his usual lean angle to one side, as he cannot move it far enough out of the way. 

Alongside him in eighth is LCR Honda MotoGP's Stefan Bradl, who's session got off to a bad start with a crash, although the German managed to head back out for the latter part of qualifying. He said they did not improve on the braking issues they encountered on Friday.

Ninth position went to Ducati Team's Valentino Rossi, with the Italian not finding the one-off pace that helped him jump up the ranks in Friday's timesheets. His teammate Nicky Hayden completes the top ten, with the American still suffering significant discomfort from his fractured right radius. Power Electronics Aspar's Aleix Espargaró took top CRT spot in 13th, consolidating the form he has shown all weekend.

There were numerous other crashes throughout the session as San Carlo's Michele Pirro dropped his bike early on, with Paul Bird Motorsport's James Ellison and Cardion AB Racing's Karel Abraham also following suit at the end of the session. Fortunately none of the riders were seriously hurt in the crashes.

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