Andrea Dovizioso captured pole position for his Ducati squad on the Desmosedici GP15, ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez in Qatar.
The first qualifying session of the season did not disappoint as Dovizioso took a sensational pole position for the factory Ducati team ahead of Repsol Honda riders Marquez and Pedrosa.
At the end of the session you could see how much this pole meant to Ducati Team General Manager Luigi Dall’Igna 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 tire and had to settle for third on the grid behind teammate Pedrosa.
Andrea Iannone will start from the second row in fourth on the other factory Ducati, with Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez making it three Ducatis in the top five. Jorge Lorenzo is the first Yamaha rider in sixth, with Bradley Smith heading the third row on the satellite Monster Tech 3 Yamaha finishing ahead of the Factory YZR-M1 of Valentino Rossi, 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 the 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 second place from Maverick Vinales 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 2 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2.