"The conditions today were anything but simple. I am surprised at the times we were able to do on slicks and some turns completely wet. The level in MotoGP is incredible, and I realise that more and more every day. We were able to take the third row and I am pleased with that. Yesterday I was already fast and today, especially in qualifying, I was able to ride really well. It won't be easy in the race tomorrow, but I want to take the Aprilia into the top 10."
DIFFICULT QUALIFIERS FOR ANDREA IANNONE
The expected and much-feared rain arrived today on the Motegi circuit. The FP3 session in the morning was therefore held in the wet, leaving the times from yesterday unchanged which qualify Aleix Espargaró to go straight through to Q2. In FP4, the situation steadily improved until the qualifiers, when all the riders were able to take to the track on slicks.
The conditions were anything but easy, due to some damp spots along the track, but they did not keep Aleix from turning a series of outstanding laps. The fastest of these, done in 1'46.558, earned him a spot on the third row in ninth place. Putting on a medium front tyre could have been a gamble, shaving off a few tenths, but in any case it was an outstanding performance in light of the pace the Spaniard demonstrated throughout all the dry sessions.
It was a complicated day for Andrea Iannone, ending with a Q1 session compromised by a technical problem. Forced to use the second bike, and with not much time left, Andrea was unable to improve his time and will therefore start from the eighth row.
"Unfortunately today we were never able to find the pace, both in the wet and when the track was drying off. In qualifying, due to a technical problem I had to use the second bike on the last outing, compromising my starting position. It will be another difficult race."