Dani Pedrosa says the works Honda team made the wrong call on set-up in Friday's practice session at Motegi, and believes it will leave the team at a disadvantage on Sunday if the race is dry.
The Spaniard and team-mate Andrea Dovizioso were well off the pace throughout the 45-minute practice today. Dovizioso managed to salvage seventh place with a quicker lap on his final run, albeit 1.4 seconds slower than pace-setter Valentino Rossi, while Pedrosa finished 11th.
Rain is forecast for Saturday's practice and qualifying sessions, so Pedrosa fears today's could have been his only run in the dry before race day.
"The problem was that we made totally the wrong setting," Pedrosa said. "I couldn't make good laptimes, so it was a shame because tomorrow it will be raining.
"If the race is in dry conditions, I think today we make the wrong decision."
Pedrosa added that he is much more comfortable on his bike in Japan than he was in Qatar, as his recovery from a broken wrist continues.
"Today I felt a little bit better than in Qatar," he said. "Still in the beginning it's very difficult, but after some minutes I get a little bit more movement, so this is good. I have to sit better on the machine."