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Page last updated at 07:03 GMT, Saturday, 25 April 2009 08:03 UK

Rossi profits from rain in Japan

Japan MotoGP, Motegi
Date: Sunday 25 April
125cc & 250cc races: BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website, 0250-0500 BST
MotoGP race: BBC Two and BBC Sport website, 0645-0800 BST
Highlights: BBC Two and BBC Sport website, 1400-1515 BST
Race re-run: BBC Red Button, 2300-0900 BST

Valentino Rossi
Rossi was quickest around a rain-sodden track in Japan

Qualifying for the Japanese MotoGP has been washed out because of heavy rain, leaving Valentino Rossi on pole for Sunday's race after free practice.

With conditions a wash-out on Saturday, the time sheets from Friday's practice session were used to decide the positions on the starting grid.

That put reigning world champion Rossi at the front with a time 0.056 seconds faster than Ducati's Casey Stoner.

Britain's Tech 3 Yamaha rider James Toseland will start in 10th place.

Rossi's Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will line up third on the grid.

Although the second free practice was held on Saturday morning, the wet weather meant all the riders suffered severely and were unable to improve on times from the day before.

And although workers tried desperately to clear surface water on the 4.8-kilometre (three-mile) Motegi Twin Ring track the decision was taken to abandon qualifying.

It might prove to be a blessing in disguise for Toseland, who struggled with a front suspension problem on Saturday and would have been unlikely to be competitive.

More rain was forecast but the weather is expected to improve for Sunday's races.

Two weeks ago the opening race of the MotoGP season, in Qatar, was also affected by rain and was postponed from the scheduled Sunday and finally held the next day.

Australian Stoner took the first victory of the season, with Rossi in second.

Starting positions for Sunday's races (based on the combined practice times)


1. Valentino Rossi (Ita) Yamaha 1 min 48.545 secs

1:48.545, 2. Casey Stoner (Aus) Ducati @ 0.056 sec

3. Jorge Lorenzo (Spa) Yamaha @ 0.420 sec

4. Chris Vermeulen (Aus) Suzuki @ 0.837 sec

5. Colin Edwards (USA) Yamaha @ 1.152 sec

6. Loris Capirossi (Ita) Suzuki @ 1.435 sec

7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita) Honda @ 1.485 sec

8. Marco Melandri (Ita) Kawasaki @ 1.578 sec

9. Toni Elias (Spa) Honda @ 1.664 sec

10. James Toseland (GB) Yamaha @ 1.797 sec

Selected others

11. Dani Pedrosa (Spa) Honda @ 1.846

12. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati @ 1.848


1. Marco Simoncelli (ITA/Gilera) 1:53.093

2. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN/Honda) @ 0.602

3. Alvaro Bautista (ESP/Aprilia) @ 0.743

4. Mattia Pasini (ITA/Aprilia) @ 0.847

5. Hector Barbera (ESP/Aprilia) @ 1.404


1. Andrea Iannone (Ita) Aprilia 2:00.685

2. Julian Simon (Spa) Aprilia @ 0.179

3. Stefan Bradl (Ger) Aprilia @ 0.344

4. Esteve Rabat (Spa) Aprilia @ 0.687

5. Nicolas Terol (Spa) Aprilia @ 0.864

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see also
Stoner takes win in MotoGP opener
13 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
Rossi glad to continue competing
08 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
Toseland eyes greater consistency
07 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
Lorenzo happy to keep on learning
06 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
Toseland regrets Edwards fall-out
02 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
MotoGP on the BBC
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
MotoGP calendar 2011
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP

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