Breath-taking front-row qualifying performance for Marquez at Motegi, Pedrosa improves to sixth2017-10-15 21:41
After displaying a strong pace in every session at the Japanese Grand Prix, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez set the third fastest time of the day at the end of a thrilling qualifying session on a drying Motegi track.
After switching from rain tyres to slicks for his second time attack, the 24-year-old Spaniard was unable to improve on the time that had until then put him on provisional pole.
Nonetheless, his 1’53.903” time, set despite a big slide in the final corner, was quick enough to earn him his 11th front-row start of this season, less than half a second from pole-setter Johann Zarco.
Recovering from a difficult start to the weekend, Dani Pedrosa consistently improved his pace and speed and tomorrow will line up in sixth place, on the second row.
“The result is good but clearly the slicks today weren’t the right choice, as it was a bit too early for them. Anyway, you always have to look at the positive side of things, which in this case, firstly is that we’re still on the front row, as we had already done a very good lap time on rain tyres; and secondly is that we managed to understand a few things in case of a flag-to-flag race. I’m also happy I saved a crash when I set my fastest time and avoided my team missing dinner tonight! I think we’ve had a good weekend so far, being able to do well in every session in the wet, keeping a fast pace in quite challenging conditions, and that’s very positive. Tomorrow it looks like it will rain again, but we’ll see; we could also have mixed conditions, and in that case we will have to be ready for every situation”.
“Today qualifying was difficult, as the conditions were changing and the track was drying. I didn’t feel at ease with the tyres in my first exit, as I suffered too much spinning. I stopped and changed the tyres and I felt better, so I was able to improve my lap time. Mixed conditions are always challenging for making the right choices regarding the bike setting, but today we worked a lot on the electronics and understood more about the track itself when it’s completely wet and when it’s half-and-half. Now we have to wait for tomorrow, see what the weather will be like, and try to be ready for the race.”
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'53.469
Danilo 9 ITA Octo Pramac Racing 1'53.787
Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team 1'53.903
Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1'53.947
Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team 1'54.235
Dani 26 SPA
Source: Honda Racing Corporation
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