MotoGP: Round #15 - DRIVE M7 Aspar Qualifying Report - Motegi

Nicky Hayden race action shot

DRIVE M7 Aspar Press Release:

Qualifying practice at Motegi proved to be one of the most entertaining sessions of the season with Jorge Lorenzo taking an early lead, only to be overturned by his team-mate Valentino Rossi. Whilst the Yamaha pair chopped and changed in the first two positions, Honda was preparing their assault and both Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa made respective challenges for pole position before Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso showed that his fastest lap from yesterday was no joke and that he wanted pole more than anybody. The Italian heads up a front row that sees Márquez aiming to wrap up the title and Lorenzo hoping to solidify his challenge for second place in the championship.

Nicky Hayden admitted yesterday to a series of mistakes that affected his lap time and overall position but today the DRIVE M7 Aspar was back on form, finding half a second in the opening session of the day before going another second quicker in the afternoon, qualifying in fourteenth place with an excellent lap of 1'46.465. The American set his lap time alone, without a slipstream, proving that he is returning to full strength and form. Hiroshi Aoyama also made progress today but his attack on a qualifying lap was foiled by a tire problem and the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team rider will start his home race from eighteenth.

Nicky Hayden race action shot

Nicky Hayden #69:

14th - 1.46.465

“Without any doubt today was more productive than yesterday. The bike set-up felt better, my riding was better and I had a good feeling out there. To qualify fourteenth and set mid-1'46s today was positive. I set a couple of good laps in qualifying, when I was riding on my own, feeling really confident. A slipstream would have helped my lap time but even so I am very satisfied with fourteenth place. It is better than what we hoped for this weekend and even better than Aragón. The best thing for me is that I am recovering my form and feel for the bike. It will be a tough race tomorrow because this is a tough circuit but hopefully I can get in a nice battle. It is easy to make mistakes at this track so I will have to stay focused buy I am looking forward to the race here at Motegi. We always get great support and the atmosphere here is incredible.”

Hiroshi Aoyama race action shot

Hiroshi Aoyama #7:

1.46.915

“I am a little disappointed because I was hoping for more today. I had a little crash this morning and after that we had some work to do to improve the front end of the bike. We were hoping for a better lap time in qualifying this afternoon but it didn't happen. We put some fresh tires in right at the end of the session but it seems like they were losing pressure and I couldn't push like I wanted. It was a shame to finish the day like that, but I won't throw the towel in and I will be giving my everything tomorrow to put on a good performance in front of my fans.”

For more information: www.teamaspar.com

GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN

Motul GP of Japan during the Moto World Championship 2014 in Motegi. NICKY HAYDEN Rafa Marrodán/PHOTOCALL3000

GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN

Motul GP of Japan during the Moto World Championship 2014 in Motegi. NICKY HAYDEN Rafa Marrodán/PHOTOCALL3000

GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN

Motul GP of Japan during the Moto World Championship 2014 in Motegi. NICKY HAYDEN Rafa Marrodán/PHOTOCALL3000