Saturday's MotoGP qualifying session at Motegi saw crashes for Marco Simoncelli and Colin Edwards.

For Gresini Honda rider Simoncelli it was his second spill of the weekend and the Italian admitted it may have cost him a shot at the front row. Simoncelli will start sixth on the grid.

"I was going quite well up to the crash but unfortunately I made a little mistake in turn five, hit a bump and crashed, which compromised the second half of the session," he said. "I struggled a little for confidence when I went back out and only got to use one soft tyre.

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"Without that I could have maybe been fighting for the front row but in any case I am happy because I have good race pace and hopefully tomorrow I can be fighting for the podium."

While Simoncelli hitting the asphalt is not an unusual occurrence this year, the tumble by Edwards was less expected. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider missed his braking point and fell in the gravel, before returning to qualify just 14th.

"The early crash didn't help the session run smoothly and I haven't made a mistake as bad as that in a long time," said the straight-talking Texan. "I just completely missed my braking marker and that was all because I was pushing too hard to get more out of the bike.

"I had high hopes coming to Japan because last year I got my best grid position and my best result of the Championship at Motegi. But it just hasn't worked out at all so far this weekend and I'm just not quick enough.

"I'm faster than I qualified last year but still nine places further back down the grid, so that shows how much the competition has stepped up this season."