It was always going to be close in QP2, and the first qualifying session of the season did not disappoint as Dovizioso took a sensational pole position for the factory Ducati Team ahead of the Repsol Honda’s of Marquez (+0.324s) and Pedrosa (+0.217s).
At the end of the session you could see how much this pole meant to Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Team General Manager) who oversaw the development of the new GP15 from scratch. Reigning MotoGP™ Champion Marquez had no response to Dovizioso’s pace on the softer option tyre and had to settle for 3rd on the grid behind his teammate Pedrosa.Andrea Iannone will start from the front of the second row in 4th on the other factory Ducati, with Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez (+0.562s) making it three Ducati’s in the top five, in 5th place. Jorge Lorenzo (+0.598s) is in 6th, with Bradley Smith (+0.618s) heading the 3rd row on the satellite Monster Tech 3 Yamaha finishing ahead of the Factory YZR-M1 of Valentino Rossi (+0.738s), who will start from 8th.
CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who had shown impressive pace during practice, crashed out at turn 14 and had to settle for 12th place.
Earlier in Q1 Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci led right from the start, setting a time seven-tenths quicker than his best from practice and claiming top spot. The battle for the second automatic qualifying spot was won by Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith in dramatic fashion. The British rider pinching 2nd place from Maverick Viñales on the Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR right at the end of the session, after the checkered flag had been shown.
The MotoGP™ race will take place on Sunday at 21:00 local time.
1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team DUCATI 1'54.113 2.Dani PEDROSA – (Repsol Honda Team) - 1'54.330 +0.217 3. Marc MARQUEZ – (Repsol Honda Team) - 1'54.437 +0.324 4. Andrea IANNONE – (Ducati Team) - 1'54.521 +0.408 5. Yonny HERNANDEZ – (Pramac Racing) 1'54.675 +0.562 6. Jorge LORENZO – (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) - 1'54.711 +0.598 7. Bradley SMITH – (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) - 1'54.732 +0.619 8. Valentino ROSSI – (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) - 1'54.851 +0.738 9. Danilo PETRUCCI – (Pramac Racing) - 1'54.876 +0.763 10. Pol ESPARGARO – (Monster Yamaha) - 1'55.004 +0.891 11. Aleix ESPARGARO – (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) - 1'55.035 +0.922 12. Cal CRUTCHLOW – (CWM LCR Honda) - 1'55.123 +1.010 13. Maverick VIÑALES – (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) Q1 1'55.246 +0.152