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- Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) is on pole for the third time this year. This is Rossi’s first pole outside of Europe since the penultimate race of 2009 in Malaysia - the same year that he was also last on pole at Motegi. Rossi will be aiming to win in Japan for the first time since 2008.
- Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) is on the front row for the tenth time in 2016. Motegi is one of only two circuits on the current schedule where Marquez has not had a win in the MotoGP™ class, along with the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
- In third place on the grid is Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), who has finished on the podium for the last five years at the Japanese Grand Prix - including wins in both 2013 and 2014.
- Heading the second row of the grid is Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), who will be aiming to give Ducati their first podium at Motegi since Casey Stoner won the Japanese GP in 2010.
- Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) is fifth, the fourth successive race that he has been the top Independent Team rider in qualifying. Crutchlow has picked up 85 points over the last six races and has only been outscored over this six race period by Marquez and Rossi.
- Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) starts from the final place on the second row – his best ever qualifying result at Motegi in his eleven years of grand prix racing at the circuit.
- Heading the third row is Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar), who is making his 100th grand prix start.
- Both Espargaro and Viñales will be aiming to improve on Suzuki’s best result at Motegi in the MotoGP™ era, which is fifth with John Hopkins in 2005.
- In eighth place on the grid is Hector Barbera (Ducati Team) – his best qualifying result at Motegi in his seven years in the MotoGP™ class.
- In ninth place on the grid is Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), which is his best qualifying result since the German Grand Prix.
1 year ago