Ducati Team Takes First MotoGP Pole of 2015

Andrea Dovizioso claims number one spot on the Qatar grid ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.

The first qualifying session of the 2015 MotoGP season did not disappoint as Andrea Dovizioso took a sensational pole position for the factory Ducati Team ahead of the Repsol Hondas of Dani Pedrosa (+0.217s) and Marc Marquez (+0.324s). The reigning World Champion finished over three-tenths off the pace of Dovizioso and feels the Ducatis have a serious chance in the race on Sunday.

"Our objective was to get onto the front row and we succeeded, so I’m happy,” said Marquez. “Of course, you always want to do more, and I would have liked to have set a better lap, but we have a good setup for tomorrow and a good pace, which is the most important thing. It will be difficult to keep up with Andrea [Dovizioso] because, besides a fast one-off lap, he also has good race pace. We will try to ride our own race and fight for the win."

Pedrosa was the first rider to set a hot lap in the Q2 session and then improved on his second flying lap with his time of 1’54.330, placing him on provisional pole. Marquez then set a time of 1’54.437 on his first fast lap to slot in behind Pedrosa in second place as the riders returned to the pits for a fresh rear tire.

On their second run, neither Repsol Honda rider was able to improve their time but missed out on a 1-2 start in the final qualifying moments when Dovizioso ran 1'54.113 using the super soft tire.

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 Ducatis in the top five, in 5th place. Jorge Lorenzo (+0.598s) is in 6th, with Bradley Smith (+0.618s) heading row three 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.