Reigning Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco has stormed to a crucial pole position at the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit after the Frenchman set a new qualifying record for the Japanese track with a 1:49.961s, pipping the gallant Thomas Luthi and the consistent Franco Morbidelli, with championship rival Alex Rins suffering through a tough day after a crash on Friday and will line up P22.
The Ajo Motorsport man looked comfortable at the round where he sealed his 2015 world title, becoming the first rider to dip under 1m 50s barrier. His Dominant performance was only blotted by an extremely rare mistake which resulted in the pole man sliding off his Kalex as he passed the chequered flag. This is a vital pole for Zarco with just one point separating him and the injured Alex Rins. The pain proved to much for the Spaniard as he lingered down towards the bottom of the timesheets, he eventually qualified in P22.
Early pacesetter Thomas Luthi completed a strong qualifying in second, holding on to provisional pole for most of the session until Zarco set his blistering pole lap. However the Swiss veterans pace looks ominous and having won here in 2014 he will be confident of repeating the feat once again.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli showed consistency is key as his early lap time was good enough for the final place on the front row in third. The Italian has showed great form this season having already achieved four podiums and he will be looking to add an illusive race victory to his already impressive collection.
Championship hopeful Sam Lowes put in a solid qualifying, giving everything he had to qualify his Gresini on the second row in fourth. The Brit is 40 points behind Zarco in the championship and he will try and force a mistake from Zarco to try and close the distance. Sandro Cortese rode strongly to qualify on the middle of the second row in fifth ahead of Axel Pons who also impressed in sixth.
Takaaki Nakagami, who was confident of achieving pole in front of his home crowd, just fell short putting his Idemitsu Honda Team Asia bike seventh on the grid and he will be hopeful of a strong performance as he will have the home crowd behind him. Alex Marquez will be looking to build on his second place from Aragon as he qualified in eighth with Jonas Folger and Mattia Pasini rounding out the top ten in ninth and tenth respectively.
The Moto2 race begins tomorrow at 04:20 BST with just one point separating Zarco and Rins, we should be in for a cracker.