MotoGP: Dovizioso takes pole in action packed qualifying

Dovi qualifying
Dovizioso is thrilled to continue his strong qualifying pace Photo: Ducati Corse

Factory Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso secured pole position in a dramatic MotoGP qualifying, ahead of Valentino Rossi aboard the Movistar Yamaha and Brit Scott Redding in damp conditions at Assen.

The much anticipated rain began to fall just in time for the MotoGP machines to head out for FP4 this afternoon, but it provided some perhaps needed track time for the riders ahead of the race tomorrow.

With a total of seven crashes in the session, in which we saw 20 minutes of track time, Marquez proved the rain doesn’t scare him as he finished the final practise on top ahead of Valentino Rossi and Danilo Petrucci, who is quickly becoming a wet weather expert.

The tricky conditions continued over into Qualifying One, as the track was still wet but the rain was not consistent. With just 15 minutes on the clock for the first qualifying session riders were being cautious in an attempt to make it into the fight for pole.

Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro took first after the flag was waved in a damp qualifying one and will progress into Qualifying Two ahead of Yonny Hernandez, both riders crashed in FP3 this morning.

Espargaro’s final push meant he pushed Hector Barbera out of Q2 and the Spaniard will start from 13th ahead of Bradley Smith. The weekend continues to go from bad to worse for Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who was unable to make it through into Q2 and will start the race from 16th on the grid.

Rain held off the Qualifying Two but a damp track and cooler conditions meant slower times and careful riders.

Maverick Vinales had a bad start to his qualifying pursuit as he crashed out of turn five in the opening minutes and is unable to get his Ecstar Suzuki restarted, forcing him to sprint back to the pits in order to get some lap times in.

With 12 minutes left on the clock there is a dry line developing on the track but lap times remained fairly slow. With 9:30 left Marquez crashed out at turn five and takes a marshals scooter in order to get him back to the garage.

Andrea Dovizioso takes provisional pole with just over five minutes to go, as Marquez’ team frantically get his second bike ready to go and the Spaniard heads out so he can set a time.

In the closing minutes Pol Espargaro shoots into pole position after topping the first session of the afternoon, whilst Marquez is on the charge to get two laps in.

Seconds after the flag is waved red and orange sectors litter the timing screens and Dovizioso shoots into pole position with a stunning time ahead of Rossi and Redding, who gets his first front row start in MotoGP. Cal Crutchlow goes into fourth only to be beaten to it by Marquez on his final lap.

Despite sitting in second position for the majority of the session, Hernandez equals his personal best to start from sixth position. Reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo can only secure 11th position on the grid, over two seconds behind pole position.

However we can’t forget that everyone who finished below Andrea Iannone down in ninth will move up one grid position, as he will start tomorrow’s race from the back of the grid following the crash with Lorenzo at Catalunya.

For full lists of session results, click here.


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