KTM riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith lead Q1 and now progress to the Q2 pole position shootout, where they will join the ten fastest riders after third practice.

Cal Crutchlow looked on course to beat at least one of the KTMs but suffered a near highside at the final turn.

Title contender Maverick  Vinales will start behind the Englishman, in just 14th on the grid...

1. Pol Espargaro ESP Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 1m 55.258s [Lap 6/6] 300km/h (Max)
2. Bradley Smith GBR Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 1m 55.844s +0.586s [5/5] 294km/h

3. Loris Baz FRA Reale Avintia (GP15) 1m 55.862s +0.604s [6/7] 292km/h
4. Maverick Viñales ESP Movistar Yamaha (YZR-M1) 1m 55.916s +0.658s [5/6] 295km/h
5. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 55.952s +0.694s [7/8] 293km/h
6. Alvaro Bautista ESP Pull&Bear Aspar (GP16) 1m 56.292s +1.034s [3/6] 296km/h
7. Hector Barbera ESP Reale Avintia (GP16) 1m 56.668s +1.410s [6/7] 298km/h
8. Sam Lowes GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)* 1m 56.771s +1.513s [8/8] 293km/h
9. Tito Rabat ESP EG 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 56.903s +1.645s [2/6] 292km/h
10. Karel Abraham CZE Pull&Bear Aspar (GP15) 1m 57.144s +1.886s [2/6] 299km/h
11. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN EG 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 57.157s +1.899s [8/8] 293km/h
12. Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac (GP16) 1m 57.787s +2.529s [5/7] 297km/h
13. Katsuyuki Nakasuga JPN Yamaha Factory (YZR-M1) 1m 57.861s +2.603s [3/8] 292km/h
14. Kohta Nozane JPN Monster Yamaha Tech3 (YZR-M1)* 2m 01.730s +6.472s [2/2] 289km/h
* Rookie
Key:
˄X Up X places from FP2.
= Rider has the same position as FP2.
˅X Down X places from FP2.

Blue = Factory Team.
Red = Satellite Team.

Fastest practice time:
Marc Marquez SPA Honda 1m 54.581s (wet, FP4)
Official Motegi MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha 1m 43.790s (2015)
Fastest race lap:
Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha 1m 45.350s (2015)
 

By Peter McLaren