The first Motul Grand Prix of Japan track action at the Twin Ring Motegi this weekend saw Jorge Lorenzo placing an impressive marker by setting a 1’45.432 to dispel any doubts that the shoulder he sprained in training would affect him. The Spaniard also set his best time on his last lap to finish less than a second of Andrea Dovizioso’s 2014 Pole Record (1’44.502).Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone, who is also carrying a shoulder injury, was 0.395s further back aboard the Desmosedici GP15 in second ahead of the MotoGP™ championship leader Valentino Rossi (+0.412s). The ‘Doctor’ making the most of the ideal track conditions at Motegi (33˚C) to complete the provisional front row in third.
Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith ended the session in fourth less than half a second behind the pace of Lorenzo to finish as the leading Satellite rider. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was just a 0.008s adrift in fifth
2014 Pole setter Andrea Dovizioso rolled in his Ducati Desmosedici GP15 in sixth, with reigning World Champion Marc Marquez seventh nursing the fifth Metacarpal on his left hand in the run-up to the GP.
The Espargaro brothers were eighth and ninth respectively in their birth manner with the elder Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) having the better of his junior brother Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). Germany’s Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completed the top ten, despite crashing late on at turn 11.