Valentino Rossi takes pole position for the Japanese MotoGP, while practice pace setter Marc Marquez was forced to abandon a fast lap after pushing a little too hard under braking, then backing off while marshals were retrieving Cal Crutchlow's fallen bike on his last lap.

Rossi passed the accident at a similar time and did not appear to back off - but even if that lap is scrapped by Race Direction, the grid order should remain unchanged since the Italian's pole time was set the lap before Crutchlow fell.

Jorge Lorenzo completes the front row after a brave performance following this morning's massive highside, which required a visit to hospital for scans and X-rays.

Alvaro Bautista, having led Qualifying 1, fell on his out-lap in Qualifying 2.

Dani Pedrosa fractured his right collarbone in a huge Friday practice highside and is replaced for the remainder of the weekend by HRC test rider Hiroshi Aoyama.

Meanwhile Eugene Laverty was given the green light to return to action this afternoon, after his big accident in FP2.

Andrea Iannone is missing his third race in a row following a back injury at Misano. His factory seat has been taken by Hector Barbera, with 2015 Australian SBK champion Mike Jones drafted in for a MotoGP debut at Avintia.

Bradley Smith and Jack Miller are returning from injury this weekend, while Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga is making his latest wild-card appearance.

Marquez has a slim mathematical chance of wrapping up the 2016 title on Sunday, should he raise his points lead from 52 to 76...

Qualifying 2:1.Valentino RossiITAMovistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1)1m 43.954s[Lap 7/8]305km/h (Top Speed)2.Marc MarquezESPRepsol Honda Team (RC213V)1m 44.134s +0.180s[3/8]308km/h3.Jorge LorenzoESPMovistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1)1m 44.221s +0.267s[7/7]303km/h4.Andrea DoviziosoITADucati Team (Desmosedici GP)1m 44.294s +0.340s[6/8]308km/h5.Cal CrutchlowGBRLCR Honda (RC213V)1m 44.402s +0.448s[7/7]306km/h6.Aleix EspargaroESPTeam Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)1m 44.494s +0.540s[8/8]304km/h7.Maverick Vi?alesESPTeam Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)1m 44.539s +0.585s[8/8]307km/h8.Hector BarberaESPDucati Team (Desmosedici GP)1m 44.980s +1.026s[7/7]310km/h9.Pol EspargaroESPMonster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)1m 45.232s +1.278s[8/8]304km/h10.Danilo PetrucciITAOcto Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15)1m 45.782s +1.828s[3/7]304km/h11.Scott ReddingGBROcto Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15)1m 45.827s +1.873s[5/6]306km/h12.Alvaro BautistaESPFactory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)No Time[0/0]

Qualifying 1:13.Stefan BradlGERFactory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)1m 45.823s301km/h14.Jack MillerAUSEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)1m 46.347s301km/h15.Bradley SmithGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)1m 46.593s303km/h16.Katsuyuki NakasugaJPNYamalube Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1)1m 46.627s300km/h17.Yonny HernandezCOLAspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2)1m 46.705s302km/h18.Tito RabatESPEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)*1m 46.753s301km/h19.Eugene LavertyIRLAspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2)1m 47.060s305km/h20.Loris BazFRAAvintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2)1m 47.501s296km/h21.Mike JonesAUSAvintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2)1m 47.631s302km/h22.Hiroshi AoyamaJPNRepsol Honda Team (RC213V)1m 47.788s307km/h

Blue Name = No Concessions.
7 engine changes for the season. Engines must be identical throughout season within same team (development freeze). 5 days of private testing.Black Name = Concessions.
9 engine changes. No engine development freeze. Unlimited private testing.* Rookie

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Fastest practie time:Marc Marquez SPA Honda 1m 44.987s (FP3)

Official Motegi MotoGP records:Best lap: Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha 1m 43.790s (2015)Fastest race lap:Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha 1m 45.350s (2014)

By Peter McLaren