Mike Stevens | Apr 26, 2009

Inclement weather has again caused chaos in the world of motorsport after a torrential rainstorm forced the cancellation of qualifying for the Japan round of MotoGP.

The washout prompted organisers to decide starting positions for this afternoon’s races by times set on Friday and Saturday's rain-marred practice, handing reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi pole position.

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Photo by jpeder55.

Australia’s Casey Stoner joins Rossi on the front row, posting a time 0.056 seconds short of the Italian’s benchmark, while Jorge Lorenzo qualified third.

Chris Vermeulen managed to set the fourth quickest lap, putting him on track for a strong performance in wet conditions, while Colin Edwards and Loris Capirossi round out the second row.

Rossi was pleased to secure his 42nd career pole position, saying his team is well placed to tackle wet or dry conditions after his strong performance on Saturday.

“I’m lucky, because I had the fastest time from the Friday practice session. I’m also happy that we are fast in the wet, because I was second behind Colin (Edwards) this morning. We are quite ready for the two conditions, and we just have to wait to see which one we have.

“With just 45 minutes in each set of circumstances we are not at the limit yet. I think that this is the same for all the other riders too. I’m happy to start on pole, because this is important for the race.”

The rainstorm started moments after the end of MotoGP practice, causing initial delays for 125cc and 250cc qualifying.

But when the conditions didn’t relent, organisers were forced to cancel the day’s activities at Motegi.

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