L&T Motorsport

Dovizioso claims shock pole in the wet

Andrea Dovizioso has stormed to a surprise pole position at the Sepang International Circuit, after the Italian produced a sensational performance in the wet conditions. Valentino Rossi edged out his Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo for third, taking second on the final lap.

A saturated track greeted the riders as Q2 got underway, with Dovizioso wasting no time setting the early benchmark time with a 2m11.511s, almost a second clear of the field. Instead of pitting the Italian stayed out on track, gaining valuable track time in the Process. The Ducati rider improved his time just as the chequered flag was being made ready, improving to a 2m11.485s. This gave “DesmoDovi” his second pole position of the season.

Valentino Rossi proved why he is still strong in the wet after the Yamaha rider improved his lap times rapidly throughout the session to end qualifying in second, pipping teammate Lorenzo in the process. This result however is a breakthrough for Lorenzo as the Spaniard has struggled in 2016 with the Michelin wet tyres, but the “Spartan” put in a incredible performance to finish on the front row in conditions that he has disliked throughout his career.

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez overcame his serious illness to put his Repsol Honda fourth on the grid. The Spaniard is currently suffering from gastroenteritis and it is unknown whether he will last the full 20-lap race on Sunday.

Q1 graduate Cal Crutchlow, who is celebrating his 30th birthday today, suffered a late fall in the session but climbed back on his LCR Honda to take an impressive fifth position and win the independents’ battle. The Brit’s Q1 lap time would have been good enough for second place in Q2. Andrea Iannone completed a solid session, 1.1s off his teammate Dovizioso but his time was good enough to complete the second row.

Aleix Espargaro edged out teammate Maverick Viñales for seventh, despite a late crash in the session. Both Suzuki’s struggled in the wet conditions having looked strong in the dry and they will be hoping for the latter on Sunday. Alvaro Bautista continued Aprilia’s fine run of form to qualify ninth with Loris Baz rounding out the top ten after graduating from Q1.

Pol Espargaro struggled to put a fast lap together and eventually finished P11 with Hector Barbera finishing in P12.

The MotoGP race begins at 06:00 BST and with mixed conditions on the cards, the Sepang International Circuit should be ready for another Sunday thriller.

Image Via: (Reuters)

Q2 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 4  Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2’11.485
2 46  Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2’11.731 0.246
3 99  Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2’11.787 0.302
4 93  Marc Marquez Honda 2’11.874 0.389
5 35  Cal Crutchlow Honda 2’12.558 1.073
6 29  Andrea Iannone Ducati 2’12.598 1.113
7 41  Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 2’12.869 1.384
8 25  Maverick Viñales Suzuki 2’12.981 1.496
9 19  Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 2’13.325 1.840
10 76  Loris Baz Ducati 2’13.452 1.967
11 44  Pol Espargaro Yamaha 2’13.707 2.222
12 8  Hector Barbera Ducati 2’13.973 2.488

Q1 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
Q2 35  Cal Crutchlow Honda 2’11.591
Q2 76  Loris Baz Ducati 2’12.884 1.293
13 38  Bradley Smith Yamaha 2’12.898 1.307
14 43  Jack Miller Honda 2’12.907 1.316
15 9  Danilo Petrucci Ducati 2’13.776 2.185
16 6  Stefan Bradl Aprilia 2’13.850 2.259
17 7  Hiroshi Aoyama Ducati 2’14.179 2.588
18 45  Scott Redding Ducati 2’14.433 2.842
19 50  Eugene Laverty Ducati 2’14.769 3.178
20 68  Yonny Hernandez Ducati 2’14.786 3.195
21 53  Tito Rabat Honda 2’15.894 4.303


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