Marc Marquez sealed his 90th career pole position after overcoming the challenge of three Yamaha riders at Motegi.
The newly-crowned MotoGP champion now has 10 poles in 2019, however it’s his first one at the Japanese Grand Prix. As a result, Marquez has now taken pole at every circuit on the current calendar.
It was a tricky session for the riders to negotiate. The heavy rain had stopped, however there were damp patches dotted around the circuit.
Marquez, as he has on several occasions, was able to overcome the tricky conditions. The Repsol Honda rider topped the session with a 1:45.763. This was enough to narrowly beat Franco Morbidelli by +0.132s.
Fabio Quartararo, who topped Friday’s sessions, completes the front-row on the second Petronas Yamaha. The gap between the top three was tight. The young Frenchman was only +0.049s behind his team-mate.
Maverick Viñales made it three Yamaha riders in the top four. It’s the first time since Silverstone that the Spaniard has been off the front-row.
Cal Crutchlow achieved his highest qualifying position since the American Grand Prix. The Brit will line-up fifth on the grid, and did it the hard way after going through Qualifying 1.
Jack Miller completes row two and was the leading Ducati rider. The two factory Ducati riders were next, with Andrea Dovizioso leading Danilo Petrucci.
Aleix Espargaro continued to impress on the Aprilia, ending the session in ninth. Valentino Rossi completes the top 10, astonishingly setting the exact same time as Espargaro. The nine-time champion will be disappointed not to be able to match his fellow Yamaha rider’s pace.
Alex Rins came through Qualifying 1 but could only manage 11th on the grid. His team-mate, Joan Mir, completes the front four rows of the grid.
Elsewhere, Takaaki Nakagami narrowly missed out on Qualifying 2 and will start 13th at his home race. It’s also his final race before shoulder surgery. He’ll be replaced by Johann Zarco for the remainder of the season.
Jorge Lorenzo continued to struggle and will start the race in 19th. He was over 1.5 seconds off the pace required to make it out of Qualifying 1.
Tomorrow’s race starts at 07:00 (UK Time).