While Andrea Dovizioso's side of the Ducati garage was celebrating a first MotoGP pole since 2010, team-mate Cal Crutchlow was satisfied to be within 0.150s of the Motegi front row.

However that was only good enough for eighth on the grid.

Dovizioso is riding the latest GP14.2 evolution bike, with Crutchlow - leaving for LCR Honda at the end of the year - still running the original GP14.

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"Ducati have done a great job getting the pole position with Andrea and I'm happy for that, and I think they did a good job also with my side of the garage," said Crutchlow, who was 0.396s slower than Dovizioso.

"We've been working hard to improve the feeling with the GP14 and we were competitive today. To be one-tenth off the front row is obviously disappointing and I made a mistake on my quick lap, which was my own fault, but I'm pleased anyway.

"A good job by the team all round and hopefully we can get a good result tomorrow."

Crutchlow took his first Ducati rostrum in the recent dry-wet Aragon race.