Tamada takes pole

Published: 15 September 2004

Makoto Tamada has taken pole position for the Japanese round of the Moto GP world championship in Motegi.

The Japanese rider was setting the pace throughout both qualifying sessions finishing third in Friday's session behind John Hopkins and Valentino Rossi and moving up to take pole on Saturday.

Hopkins still managed to hang on to second place on the grid followed by Valentino Rossi, Max Biaggi and Colin Edwards.

Tamada will be looking to make up for last year's Motegi round where he was disqualified on the last lap from his home GP for colliding with Carlos Checa.

Hopkins will also be looking to make up for last year where he took out three riders ina first corner crash and was penalized with a one race suspension.

The Suzuki rider attributed his success in Motegi this year with his love of the circuit and new parts that he recently received direct from the Suzuki factory.

Tohru Ukawa debuted the latest version of the Honda RC211V but the bike carried exactly the same bodywork as the current model and the firm didn't reveal any details of what was new on the bike.

Qualifying positions:

Makoto Tamada, John Hopkins, Valentino Rossi, Max Biaggi, Colin Edwards, Marco Melandri, Loris Capirossi, Kenny Roberts, Nicky Hayden, Alex Barros, Carlos Checa, Shinya Nakano, Sete Gibernau, Tohru Ukawa, Norick Abe, Troy Bayliss, Neil Hodgson, Ruben Xaus, Alex Hoffman, Jeremy McWilliams, Olivier Jaque, Nobuatso Aoki, Shane Byrne.

Yuichi Ui did not qualify on the WCM.