Taking to the track in wet conditions in the morning’s FP3 and much of the afternoon’s FP4, Morbidelli only used slick tyres for the first time today in qualifying but was able to adapt quickly to come home only 0.132secs from pole position with a 1min 45.895secs lap time. Today’s second on the grid equals Franco’s best result this season at the Spanish GP in Jerez in May.
Quartararo was able to make a significant step forward in the mixed conditions of qualifying, finishing only 0.049secs behind his teammate and 0.181secs off pole with a time of 1min 45.944secs for his tenth front row position of his rookie season. P1 in the dry yesterday and able to battle for the win last time out in Thailand, tomorrow could be Quartararo’s chance to secure the Rookie of the Year title as well as extend his 24-point lead in the Independent Riders’ championship.
MotoGP action at Motegi will get underway at 1500 local time tomorrow (1400 Malaysian time) at the Twin Ring Motegi for the 24-lap Grand Prix of Japan.