2013 MotoGP: 7.3 Earthquake, Lorenzo in Pole

Despite the MotoGP teams and riders being a bit scared by the 7.3 earthquake in the dead of the night, the championship seems to be back on a more usual schedule. The weather cleared a bit, so the bikes have been allowed on the track, for an extended Qualifying session of 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Nicky Hayden third in Qualifying at Motegi 5 photos
2013 Motegi Qualifying2013 Motegi Qualifying2013 Motegi QualifyingNicky Hayden in Motegi Qualifying
The rain stopped but there was still too much water on the track to ride with slick tires, so after a day and a half of frustrating fog, the Motegi round seems to be on its way. As we write the news, the first sunshine of the weekend brings better hopes for the Sunday race.

Jorge Lorenzo, 18 points behind championship leader Marc Marquez, managed to score another pole position, posting 1m53s471, followed by the Spaniard, who was more than half a second slower. Marquez had two run-offs into the gravel but remained upright.

A big surprise comes from Nicky Hayden as he put Ducati on the first row of the grid, a thing we haven't seen for quite a long time from the Italian team. It looks like riding in the wet suited Ducati just fine, as Hayden mentioned the bike felt much better, without excessive wheeling and no squiggly vibes.

Aleix Espargaro was the best CRT rider in Qualifying, in the 9th position on the grid, but Tech3's Crutchlow and Smith had a very disappointing session, only being 11th and 13th fastest, respectively.

It looks like the additional practice and warm-up sessions tomorrow could play a crucial role in the development of the penultimate round of the season. The Sunday race is expected to be a dry one.
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