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Jorge Lorenzo to start from row 2 after fifth place in qualifying for GP of Japan. Andrea Dovizioso will start the race at Motegi from row 3 with ninth-quickest time

Jorge Lorenzo will start tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Japan, round 15 of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship, from the second row of the grid. The Ducati Team’s Spanish rider was fifth quickest during the Q2 qualifying session, which was held on a partially damp track, with a lap of 1’54.235. This morning Lorenzo confirmed his fourth place in FP3 to go directly through the afternoon’s all-important 15-minute Q2 run.

Ninth place went to Andrea Dovizioso, who lines up on row 3 with a time of 1’55.064. The Italian also went through directly into Q2 thanks to the time he set yesterday (1’54.877), which no rider improved upon in the morning’s FP3 run.

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 1’54.235 (5th)
“I was just a few tenths off improving my fifth place, but at any rate starting tomorrow from the second row is not so bad. Conditions in qualifying were not ideal for us, because the track was drying, and I think that if the track had been wetter we could have got a better result. In any case the most important thing is to be in a good position for the start, also because tomorrow it will probably rain and in these conditions I think we’ve got a good base set-up. We’ve worked well and I feel good on the bike. The key to the race could be the choice of tyres: if the track dries, it’ll be vitally important to manage the tyre wear in the best possible way, and if the track stays wet until the very end I think we can certainly fight for the podium.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’55.064 (9th)
“Pity about my grid position: in qualifying I wasn’t able to do a good lap and the track was in quite a difficult condition, half wet and half dry. You had to interpret it in just a few laps and I wasn’t able to get the best out of it, also because on my fast lap the front turned in on me at Turn 9 and I almost finished off the track, as well as losing a bit of time. Pity about ninth place and the third row, but if it’s very wet tomorrow, like yesterday, I think we can do a really good race.”