Drought-breaking pole for Dovizioso in Czech Republic
Andrea Dovizioso has qualified on pole for the first time in over a season-and-a-half while Valentino Rossi also made the front row for the Czech MotoGP.
The Ducati Team rider ended Qualifying 2 a healthy 0.267s faster than Rossi, with Marc Marquez knocked back to third by the two Italians.
It was the other factory Ducati rider of Jorge Lorenzo who had started brightest, reeling out the then-fastest lap of the weekend (1:55.059s) on his first flyer.
The Spaniard lowered his own benchmark slightly to 1:55.038s at the start of his second run before Marquez lapped the Automotodrom Brno in 1:54.961s on his Repsol Honda.
When the chequered flag flew, Marquez was still fastest from Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow, but that was about to change.
Dovizioso pulled out a 1:54.689s just before Rossi took his Movistar Yamaha to a 1:54.956s.
The pole is the first for ‘Desmodovi’ since the 2016 Malaysian MotoGP.
Lorenzo ended up fourth and will start alongside Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati).
Row 3 will be Johann Zarco (Tech3 Yamaha) and the Suzuki Ecstar entries of Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins, the latter of whom came through Qualifying 1.
Behind them are Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), Tito Rabat (Avintia Ducati), and Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha).
The latter had failed to earn a direct pass to the second stage of qualifying but was comfortably quickest in Q1.
Jack Miller might have emulated the Spaniard in moving through to the final 12, going fastest to the second sector before crashing his Pramac Ducati during his final run.
The Australian will start 17th as a result.
Aleix Espargaro (Gresini Aprilia) was fit enough to take on the race weekend after a sizeable crash in the warm up during the last round in Germany and qualified 24th.
The 21-lap grand prix starts on Sunday at 2200 AEST.
Qualifying: Czech MotoGP
|1||04||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1:54.689|
|2||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1:54.956||0.267 / 0.267|
|3||93||Marc MARQUEZ||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1:54.961||0.272 / 0.005|
|4||99||Jorge LORENZO||ESP||Ducati Team||Ducati||1:55.038||0.349 / 0.077|
|5||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||LCR Honda CASTROL||Honda||1:55.055||0.366 / 0.017|
|6||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Alma Pramac Racing||Ducati||1:55.203||0.514 / 0.148|
|7||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1:55.221||0.532 / 0.018|
|8||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:55.270||0.581 / 0.049|
|9||42||Alex RINS||ESP||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:55.431||0.742 / 0.161|
|10||26||Dani PEDROSA||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1:55.474||0.785 / 0.043|
|11||53||Tito RABAT||ESP||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1:55.686||0.997 / 0.212|
|12||25||Maverick VIÑALES||ESP||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1:55.823||1.134 / 0.137|
|13||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||ITA||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1:56.029||Q1 / Q1|
|14||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||ESP||Angel Nieto Team||Ducati||1:56.031||Q1 / 0.002|
|15||38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:56.218||Q1 / 0.187|
|16||55||Hafizh SYAHRIN||MAL||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1:56.285||Q1 / 0.067|
|17||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Alma Pramac Racing||Ducati||1:56.316||Q1 / 0.031|
|18||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||HRC Honda Team||Honda||1:56.330||Q1 / 0.014|
|19||44||Pol ESPARGARO||ESP||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:56.353||Q1 / 0.023|
|20||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||1:56.512||Q1 / 0.159|
|21||50||Sylvain GUINTOLI||FRA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:57.037||Q1 / 0.525|
|22||12||Thomas LUTHI||SUI||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1:57.208||Q1 / 0.171|
|23||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Angel Nieto Team||Ducati||1:57.217||Q1 / 0.009|
|24||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||ESP||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1:57.250||Q1 / 0.033|
|25||45||Scott REDDING||GBR||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1:57.438||Q1 / 0.188|
|26||10||Xavier SIMEON||BEL||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1:58.048||Q1 / 0.610|