Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo claimed a consecutive pole position at the AirAsia GP of Japan at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, leading Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Nicky Hayden who did a brilliant job of putting the Ducati back on the front row and see’s the team’s best qualifying position since last year in Jerez.
Row two was headed by Marquez’s team-mate Dani Pedrosa, Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso in sixth. starting from seventh is GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista.
Returning to race this weekend is LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl after having surgery on his fractured ankle the German manged to take eighth spot on the starting grid. Power Electronic Aspars Aleix Espargaro took ninth, the Spaniard already has the CRT title wrapped up for the 2013 season. Completing the top ten is Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez.
Ducati and Ben Spies have announced that he will be retiring from racing competition and has parted company with the Pramac Ducati team. Having had a season blighted with injury, Spies has decided that he is not capable of riding out the remainder of his contract which would have ended in 2014.
Ben Spies Statement –
“I had such high hopes for racing for Ducati and Ducati has been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging year, so I am tremendously disappointed that I have not been able to fulfill my personal goals and team goals with Ducati. I want to thank everyone from racing organizations, factories, teams and all my fans for helping me and supporting me throughout my career. I never dreamed that I would reach the level of success that I have over the past 20 years of racing, but the time has come to stop and I do so with great sadness.” By Laura Turner