Jorge Lorenzo will start from pole in Sunday’s Japan Moto Grand Prix, having held off his Yamaha teammate and championship leader Valentino Rossi, who will start from second.
The Spaniard led all four practice sessions before clocking 1min 43.790sec in the qualifying round on Saturday, only 0.081sec faster than the veteran Italian rider.
Injured defending champion Marc Marquez will share the front row with the Yamaha duo, coming in 0.426sec after Lorenzo.
Rossi, who leads Lorenzo by a slender 14-point advantage, has admitted that the season remained wide open with four more races to go, including the Japanese race.
Thick cloud cover brought the temperature down at Motegi, where rainfall is expected for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
Alex de Angelis crashed hard during the fourth free practice earlier on Saturday, prompting a red flag to temporarily suspend the session.
The ART rider was reportedly conscious and breathing, but was taken by chopper to Dokkyo Hospital in the region for checks and treatment.
He left the circuit speaking and moving his limbs, MotoGP.com said. He reported chest and back pain and will be checked in hospital by CT scan, it said.