Dovizioso Nabs MotoGP Pole In Qatar

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Andrea Dovizioso has earned the pole for Sunday's MotoGP opener in Qatar. (Ducati Photo)
Andrea Dovizioso has earned the pole for Sunday's MotoGP opener in Qatar. (Ducati Photo)
Andrea Dovizioso has earned the pole for Sunday’s MotoGP opener in Qatar. (Ducati Photo)

DOHA, Qatar – Andrea Dovizioso captured the pole for the season opening round of the MotoGP World Championship on Saturday at the Losail Int’l Circuit.

Dovizioso captured the pole for the Ducati Team on the Desmosedici GP15, besting Repsol Honda teammates Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.

The first qualifying session of the season did not disappoint as Dovizioso took took the top spot ahead of Pedrosa with his 1:54.113 lap. Pedrosa settled for second, .217 of a second behind Dovizioso. Marquez was third, .324 of a second behind Dovizioso.

Andrea Iannone will start from the front of the second row in fourth on the other factory Ducati, with Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez  making it three Ducati’s in the top five in fifth place. Jorge Lorenzo will start sixth for Yamaha, with Bradley Smith leading 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 top spot. The battle for the second automatic qualifying spot was won by Smith in dramatic fashion. The British rider stole second-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.