MotoGP's 2009 rain curse continued in Japan on Saturday when the qualifying sessions for all three grand prix classes were cancelled due to standing water caused by persistent heavy rain.

It marked the second rain cancellation in as many events, with the season-opening MotoGP night race in Qatar postponed by one day due to rain in the desert.

Following a precedent set at Sepang 2006, when qualifying was also cancelled due to standing water, grid positions (for all classes) will be decided by combined practice times.

With Saturday morning's second free practice sessions being held in wet conditions, Friday's dry sessions will thus decide the starting order.

For MotoGP, that means reigning world champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) will start on pole, alongside 2009 title leader Casey Stoner (Ducati) with Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) completing the front row.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Colin Edwards, who had been fastest by 0.052sec over Rossi in the wet Saturday session, will start from fifth position, between Rizla Suzuki team-mates Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi.

Stoner was third fastest in the wet session (0.656sec from Edwards), when Lorenzo was fourth (+1.166sec).

The Motegi event had been held towards the end of the year from 2000-2008, but has been moved forward for this season. The weather is expected to improve for Sunday's race.

The full Motegi MotoGP grid line-up will be as follows:

1. Rossi
2. Stoner
3. Lorenzo
4. Vermeulen
5. Edwards
6. Capirossi
7. Dovizioso
8. Melandri
9. Elias
10. Toseland
11. Pedrosa
12. Hayden
13. Takahashi
14. Gibernau
15. de Angelis
16. de Puniet
17. Kallio
18. Canepa

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