Front row slot for Andrea Dovizioso in third place, while Michele Pirro will start from row 2
All three Ducati Team riders were on scintillating form today in qualifying for the TIM Italian GP at Mugello. Despite an injury to his left shoulder, Andrea Iannone pulled out a superb lap in Q2, setting a new circuit record and grabbing pole position for the sixth round of the championship, as well as his first pole in MotoGP. Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso also had a great qualifying run to clock third quickest time and he will start the race from the front row of the grid, alongside Iannone and Jorge Lorenzo.
Test-rider for the Ducati Test Team Michele Pirro, making his season debut as a wild-card with a third Desmosedici GP15, was also quick on the day and he obtained sixth quickest time, his best-ever MotoGP qualifying result.
The only problem I have at the moment is my shoulder condition, because it needs more time to get back to 100%
In the morning’s FP3 session, Iannone had already proved he could set some excellent lap times when he finished second quickest behind Lorenzo. Before beginning FP4, the rider from Vasto underwent some pain-killing treatment to his left shoulder with Clinica Medica doctors, which enabled him to take to the track in the best possible way. Dovizioso also did a good free practice session in the morning when he finished third, followed by Michele Pirro in fourth. As a result all the Ducati Team riders gained direct access into the afternoon’s Q2 session.
The last time a Ducati was on pole position at Mugello was in 2007 with Casey Stoner.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’46.489 (1st)
“I am very pleased with how things went today! For sure in my condition this result was in no way expected, but in the end me and my team did a great job and we managed to improve. For me this pole position is really important because yesterday was a difficult day, one in which I was unable to understand if the bike was improving or not. Today on the other hand we improved a lot and now I am extremely satisfied. My team was perfect and the GP15 went really well, I set the new circuit record and the new top speed record. The only problem I have at the moment is my shoulder condition, because it needs more time to get back to 100%: tomorrow will be a tough race but I will not give in.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’46.610 (3rd)
“It was a great qualifying session for our team, because there are two Ducati GP15 bikes on the front row. I am very pleased with my time because doing a 1m46.6s lap in qualifying over a one-lap run at Mugello is always difficult. I had a good feeling with the bike when I did my lap, and this is very important in view of the race because it means that we have the speed to be able to fight for the leading positions. Only in the race however will we manage to see if we have worked well enough to have a constant pace for 23 laps. I want to thank all of my team because we have worked really well, improving the bike step by step throughout the weekend.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 1’46.870 (6th)
“I am really happy because the Ducati GP15 took pole position, together with a third and a sixth place. I was sixth quickest, but I did a very quick lap and this thanks to all the guys in the team who gave me a fantastic bike. I have a great feeling with the GP15 and I really wanted to reward them with a good performance, because they deserve it. My sincere thanks go to everyone in Ducati, Claudio Domenicali, Gigi Dall’Igna, Paolo Ciabatti and Davide Tardozzi because they have always spurred me on and this time I succeeded in bringing out the best of me. Tomorrow I hope I can do a good race: I’m starting on row 2 and I will try and learn as much as possible from the riders ahead of me, as well as doing my best for Ducati and for all of our fans.”