Dovizioso takes Qatar pole as Miller crashes

Andrea Dovizioso celebrates pole for Ducati

Andrea Dovizioso celebrates pole for Ducati

Andrea Dovizioso has claimed pole position for the opening MotoGP race of the season in Qatar.

The Italian will share the front row with factory Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez after going to the top of the timesheets just before the chequered flag.

Dovizioso’s effort vindicates the potential of the Ducati Team’s new Desmosedici GP15 after the Italian marque dominated pre-season testing at the Losail Circuit a fortnight ago.

“We are a question mark because we have never raced with this new bike, but the feeling with the bike is much, much better than last year,” said Dovizioso.

“Our pace in Free Practice 4 was very fast – close to or the same as Marquez – and it will be difficult to fight with him tomorrow but our speed is there.

“I arrived to the qualifying session with a really good feeling, and with the soft tyre I made a really special lap.”

Pedrosa laid down the first competitive lap of the QP2 session with a 1:54.424 on his first flyer.

The Spaniard sliced another tenth off that lap next time around as Repsol Honda team-mate and compatriot Marquez went to second and Dovizioso third.

That was where the field stayed after the first run of laps, before Yonny Hernandez looked on for a shock front-row start with his final a 1:54.675 in the final minute

Marquez and Danilo Petrucci, who came through QP1, both threatened to knock Pedrosa off the top spot but couldn’t finish off their laps.

Dovizioso, however, could put four sectors together to take his third premier class pole.

Andrea Iannone went fourth shortly after, eclipsing Hernandez, while Jorge Lorenzo’s sixth and Valentino Rossi’s eighth continued the Movistar Yamaha team’s practice struggles.

Bradley Smith split the factory Yamahas after just making it through QP1, while Petrucci completes the third row after topping the earlier qualifying session.

Pol Espargaro was tenth, Aleix Espargaro eleventh on Suzuki’s full MotoGP return, and Cal Crutchlow rounded out the Q1 session after crashing with just over a minute remaining.

Jack Miller was the other rider to come to grief when he went down in QP1 and will start from 22nd on his MotoGP debut.

The race will commence on Monday morning at 5:00 AEDT.

QP2

Pos. Num. Rider Nationality Team Bike Speed Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 337.3 1’54.113
2 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 340.1 1’54.330 0.217 / 0.217
3 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 339.9 1’54.437 0.324 / 0.107
4 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Ducati Team Ducati 339.0 1’54.521 0.408 / 0.084
5 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Pramac Racing Ducati 346.4 1’54.675 0.562 / 0.154
6 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 332.0 1’54.711 0.598 / 0.036
7 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 337.2 1’54.732 0.619 / 0.021
8 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 333.4 1’54.851 0.738 / 0.119
9 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 342.7 1’54.876 0.763 / 0.025
10 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 335.4 1’55.004 0.891 / 0.128
11 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 327.4 1’55.035 0.922 / 0.031
12 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR CWM LCR Honda Honda 335.2 1’55.123 1.010 / 0.088

QP1

Pos. Num. Rider Nationality Team Bike Speed Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 336.3 1’55.094
2 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 339.0 1’55.235 0.141 / 0.141
3 25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 332.8 1’55.246 0.152 / 0.011
4 45 Scott REDDING GBR EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 333.6 1’55.428 0.334 / 0.182
5 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Racing Ducati 341.1 1’55.604 0.510 / 0.176
6 63 Mike DI MEGLIO FRA Avintia Racing Ducati 340.1 1’55.729 0.635 / 0.125
7 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 330.2 1’55.756 0.662 / 0.027
8 6 Stefan BRADL GER Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 332.0 1’55.791 0.697 / 0.035
9 50 Eugene LAVERTY IRL Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 330.9 1’55.848 0.754 / 0.057
10 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE AB Motoracing Honda 329.3 1’55.892 0.798 / 0.044
11 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 324.8 1’56.187 1.093 / 0.295
12 43 Jack MILLER CWM LCR Honda Honda 336.1 1’56.287 1.193 / 0.100
13 76 Loris BAZ FRA Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 328.5 1’56.454 1.360 / 0.167
14 15 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM Octo IodaRacing Team ART 325.5 1’56.793 1.699 / 0.339
15 33 Marco MELANDRI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 332.6 1’57.934 2.840 / 1.141

 

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