MOTEGI, Japan (AP) — Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo of Spain claimed pole position for the Japanese MotoGP on Saturday, putting himself in place to challenge championship leader and compatriot Marc Marquez in Sunday's race.
Lorenzo was 0.658 seconds faster than Marquez in a single 75-minute qualifying session which was cut short because of rain at the Twin Ring Motegi track north of Tokyo.
The race in Japan is the 17th round of the 18-event MotoGP season. Marquez has an 18-point lead over Lorenzo and can wrap up the title on Sunday if he wins and Lorenzo finishes third or lower.
Nicky Hayden of the United States was third fastest and will join Lorenzo and Marquez on the front row.