Bridgestone: Dovizioso dazzles under lights to take pole position for MotoGP season opener

Dovizioso’s pole-winning time was set on his second run in QP2.

Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso showed he will be a force to be reckoned with this season after the Italian set a stunning time of 1’54.113 during Qualifying Practice 2 to claim pole position for tomorrow’s Qatar Grand Prix.

Dovizioso’s pole-winning time was set on his second run in QP2 and saw him out-qualify Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa, whose best time was a 1’54.330, to the top grid spot. Rounding out the front row was Marc Marquez on the other factory RC213V, the Spaniard securing third place on the grid with a time of 1’54.437. Both Pedrosa and Marquez set their best lap times using medium compound slicks front and rear, while Dovizioso stormed to pole using the soft compound rear in conjunction with the medium compound front slick.

The softest rear slick

Track conditions today were good and track temperatures peaked at 27°C during Free Practice 4, before dropping to a low of 25°C during QP2. It was during the thirty minute FP4 session that many riders did race simulations on their preferred tyre choice in preparation for tomorrow’s Grand Prix. The most popular tyre combination during the final free practice session was the medium compound rear paired with the hard compound front slick, although the medium compound front, and hard compound rear are also likely to figure on the grid for tomorrow’s race. In Qualifying Practice 1 and 2, the riders opted for the softest rear slick available to them; medium compound for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, and soft compound for the rest of the field.

The twenty minute MotoGP Warm Up session starts at 1700 local time tomorrow (GMT+3) before the twenty-two lap Qatar Grand Prix starts under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit at 2100.

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “The track conditions were once again favourable today and we saw some strong, consistent pace during the race simulations in FP4. The pace shown by the riders over a single lap in qualifying and during long runs has been the closest we have seen at Qatar for a long time, and I hope this results in an exciting race. The most popular tyre combination is the medium rear with the hard front slick, as this gives the riders the best drive out of corners and good braking stability. However, given that the hard rear slick seems more consistent over race distance, this option could be an attractive option for the race, while some riders prefer the feel and better warm-up performance of the medium front slick over the hard front. Given the quick pace we’ve seen so far this weekend, it is likely we will see a new race lap record for the Losail Circuit to be set tomorrow.”

Pos
Rider
Team
QP2 Time
1
AndreaDOVIZIOSO
Ducati Team
1’54.113
2
Dani PEDROSA
Repsol Honda Team
1'54.330
3
Marc MARQUEZ
Repsol Honda Team
1'54.437
4
Andrea IANNONE
Ducati Team
1'54.521
5
Yonny HERNANDEZ
Pramac Racing
1'54.675
6
Jorge LORENZO
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
1'54.711
7
Bradley SMITH
Monster Yamaha Tech 3
1'54.732
8
Valentino ROSSI
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
1'54.851
9
Danilo PETRUCCI
Pramac Racing
1'54.876
10
Pol ESPARGARO
Monster Yamaha Tech 3
1'55.004
11
Aleix ESPARGARO
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR                    
1'55.035
12
Cal CRUTCHLOW
CWM LCR Honda
1'55.123

Bridgestone Motorsport

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Qatar GP
Sub-event Saturday qualifying
Track Losail International Circuit
Drivers Andrea Dovizioso , Dani Pedrosa , Marc Marquez , Yonny Hernandez , Andrea Iannone
Article type Qualifying report
Tags ducati, honda, yamaha