125cc World Championship leader Mike di Meglio will start the Japanese Grand Prix from pole position on Sunday, the first of his grand prix career.
The Frenchman was the frontrunner during a second qualifying session in which improved track conditions were reflected by the lower cylinder category lap times, with every rider dropping their Friday markers. Riding the Ajo Motorsport Derbi machine, Di Meglio clocked a 1min 58.678secs lap of which no other rider could get within three-tenths of a second.
Joining him on the front row, Stefan Bradl placed on the frontline for the second race in succession, joined by Indianapolis race winner Nico Terol in another sterling showing for the young Spaniard. Terol was pushing for pole late on in the session, but saw his front wheel raise up and cause a nervous moment for the WRB Jack&Jones Aprilia man.
Emmi-Caffe Latte´s Sandro Cortese completes the first line, in the top four at the start of a race for the first time this season, in doing so relegating reigning world champion Gabor Talmacsi to row two. Scott Redding, Dominique Aegerter and Pol Espargaro will be lining up alongside the Bancaja Aspar rider.
Provisional pole sitter Joan Olive could only manage twelfth in the session, whilst title contender Simone Corsi will start from fifteenth on the grid.
Final qualifying - Motegi:
1. di Meglio (Derbi) 1min 58.678secs
2. Bradl (Aprilia) +0.381secs
3. Terol (Aprilia) +0.426secs
4. Cortese (Aprilia) +0.454secs
5. Talmacsi (Aprilia) +0.501secs
6. Redding (Aprilia) +0.673secs
7. Aergerter (Derbi) +0.785secs
8. Espargaro (Derbi) +0.884secs
9. Iannone (Aprilia) +0.887secs
10. Gadea (Aprilia) +1.017secs
14. Smith (Aprilia) +1.106secs
18. Webb (Aprilia) +1.447secs