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Dovizioso storms to pole at wet Sepang

Italian grabs his 2nd MotoGP pole for Ducati
Saturday, October 29, 2016

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Andrea Dovizioso in dry practice
Andrea Dovizioso in dry practice

On a wet but drying track Andrea Dovizioso rode a stunning lap on his Ducati to take pole position at Sepang International Circuit in MotoGP qualifying. Fellow Italian Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took P2 on his final lap, just edging out teammate Jorge Lorenzo. 2016 champion Marc Marquez will start 4th for Honda.

In Q1, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) took control of the wet session to secure graduation early on, then lowering his time further to top the table by a good margin over Frenchman Loris Baz (Avintia Racing). Baz, despite a Turn 2 crash, had done enough before the incident to secure his place in the second session and the two moved through.

Conditions for Q2 remained wet, but Dovizioso came out fighting near the start of the session and set what was an unthreatened provisional pole position laptime on only his second attempt – before being the only man able to beat that as he later took another few hundredths off. Rossi suffered a small moment around Turn 1 in the session, before gathering it back in to go for another attack and just take second on his final run.

Lorenzo, who has struggled in 2016 getting the Michelin wet front tire to work for him, put in a stunning show in the difficult conditions to not only duel with teammate Rossi, but qualify on the front row in conditions that have proved more difficult for the Mallorcan this season.

Reigning World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) heads the second row as he struggles with illness and isn’t quite 100%, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) crashing out as he pushed to move forward – and then picking the bike up to go for one more lap, taking an impressive P5.

Marquez in the wet qualifying session
Marquez in the wet qualifying session
Recovering and returning Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) put in a solid run in difficult conditions to qualify in sixth, ahead of the Team Suzuki Ecstar duo of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales – who both struggled slightly more in the wet conditions of the Q2 session.

Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) will line up ninth after not only graduating to Q2 but also qualifying within the top ten for the Noale factory, with Loris Baz (Avintia Racing) impressing to complete the top ten, after graduating from Q1.

Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was P11 after a tire decision switch, ahead of twelfth-placed Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing), with race day however sure to see track conditions change once again – and Sepang International Circuit ready for another spectacular Sunday clash.

Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 2'11.485
2 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2'11.731
3 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2'11.787
4 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 2'11.874
5 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda 2'12.558
6 IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 2'12.598
7 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 2'12.869
8 VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 2'12.981
9 BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 2'13.325
10 BAZ Loris 76 FRA Avintia Racing Ducati 2'13.452
11 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 2'13.707
12 BARBERA Hector 8 SPA Avintia Racing Ducati 2'13.973
13 SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 2'12.898
14 MILLER Jack 43 AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 2'12.907
15 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 2'13.776
16 BRADL Stefan 6 GER Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 2'13.850
17 AOYAMA Hiroshi 7 JPN Repsol Honda Team Honda 2'14.179
18 REDDING Scott 45 GBR Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 2'14.433
19 LAVERTY Eugene 50 IRE Aspar MotoGP Team Ducati 2'14.769
20 HERNANDEZ Yonny 68 COL Aspar MotoGP Team Ducati 2'14.786
21 RABAT Tito 53 SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 2'15.894

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