Jorge Lorenzo takes MotoGP pole

MOTEGI, Japan -- World championship leader Jorge Lorenzo has won the pole position for Sunday's Japan MotoGP.

The Spaniard clocked a time of 1 minute, 49.969 seconds on his Yamaha at the 3-mile Twin Ring Motegi circuit on Saturday, 0.246 seconds ahead of compatriot and Honda rider Dani Pedrosa.

Another Yamaha rider, Cal Crutchlow of Britain, completed the front row after finishing third with a time of 1:44.969.

Yamaha's Ben Spies of the United States heads the second row where he will be joined by Alvaro Bautista of Spain and fellow Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso of Italy, who finished sixth.

Lorenzo leads the overall standings with 290 points, followed by Pedrosa with 257 and defending champion Casey Stoner of Australia at 186. Stoner, in his first race back from an ankle injury, qualified seventh on a Honda in 1:45.745.

There were numerous crashes throughout the session but none of the riders were seriously hurt.

Spain's Pol Espargaro took pole position for the Moto2 race on a Kalex while KTM rider Danny Kent of Britain will start from pole in Moto3.

The Japan Grand Prix is the 15th of 18 events.