MOTEGI, Japan — official release — MotoGP photo — Andrea Dovizioso claimed his second career MotoGP pole and put Ducati in the top qualifying position for the first time since 2010 during time trials for Sunday’s Motul Grand Prix of Japan at Twin Ring Motegi.
Dovizioso set the new one-lap record at Twin Ring Motegi circuit with a flying 1:44.502 second circuit and the pole was the Ducati Team’s first their first pole position since Casey Stoner was on pole at Valencia in 2010.
“We made a good jump from FP1 to now, we’re closer now,” Dovizioso said following the run. “Thank you to the team. The first run was very important as it told me how much I could push on the second tire. We improved a few tenths each practice and it’s a great feeling to have the pole position.”
“The pole is always special and I’ve never been able to get many. It’s such a great result for us with how much we’ve struggled. We’ve worked really hard over the last few years. I like this track a lot and I’m good on the brakes so this helps a lot here. I think we can challenge for the podium tomorrow.”
Rossi had provisional pole early in the session before he dropped down the timesheet, only to respond with a hot lap which left him just 0.055 seconds behind his Ducati rival.
Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) was also chasing pole and was on a hot lap when he fell at turn 12 in the final stages. Nonetheless the Spaniard qualified on the front row, a quarter of a second behind Dovizioso, with three different manufacturers represented on the first line of the grid.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) will launch his bid to retain the title from fourth on the grid, qualifying just 0.02 seconds behind his teammate.
Aragon race winner Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) qualified fifth. The second row is completed by Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing), who like Dovizioso took advantage of an extra soft rear tire.
Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) all qualified on row three, while Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) completed the top ten.