Motegi : MotoGP - Day 2
Victorious at Motegi last year, Loris Capirossi was back at the top of the timesheets this morning, in the third MotoGP free practice session.
The Ducati rider also took pole this afternoon for the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan with a storming lap
of 1'45.724, as he looks to repeat his 2005 win at Twin Ring Motegi tomorrow.
The Italian followed on from his timesheet-topping performance in the morning free practice session to become one of only two riders to break the 1'46 barrier, with championship contender Valentino Rossi putting on a late charge to take the second spot on the grid.
Rossi had previously emphasised that a good qualifying position in the remaining races would be essential for his title chances, and with series leader Nicky Hayden only able to put himself at the head of row three the charismatic Italian is in the driving seat at Motegi.
Marco Melandri, victorious in Australia a week ago and still including himself in the list of title hopefuls, completes an all-Italian affair on row one, followed by home rider Shinya Nakano and the Spanish duo of Sete Gibernau and Toni Elias.
Hayden's fastest lap was just over half a second slower than Capirossi's, leaving him ahead of Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet, team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Camel Yamaha's Colin Edwards.
The session passed largely without incident, with only Australian rookie Casey Stoner running off-track.
DORNA / CAPSIS International