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MotoGP Japan: Dovizioso takes Ducati's first pole since 2010

Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati take pole position for the Japanese MotoGP at Motegi.
CLICK HERE to view full Qualifying results for the Japanese MotoGP.

Andrea Dovizioso has given Ducati its first MotoGP pole position since 2010, during qualifying for the Japanese MotoGP at Motegi.

Ducati has been absent from pole since Casey Stoner's final appearance for the team at Valencia in 2010, while the result marked Dovizioso's second ever pole after being fastest as a Honda rider at Motegi in the same season.

Dovizioso made full use of the special extra-soft rear tyre only available to Ducati and the Open class riders to set a new circuit record, with pole position confirmed when Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa fell at the final turn of his final lap.

That mistake also meant Valentino Rossi kept a close second on the grid (+0.055s) for Movistar Yamaha. The Italian is riding with a finger injury from Aragon and has edged closer to the top in every session. Pedrosa (+0.253s) retained a front row start despite sending his RCV bouncing through the gravel.

Row two will be led by reigning world champion Marc Marquez (+0.273s), who was on the back foot for most of the 15-minute session after spoiling his first flying lap. Marquez has his first chance to win the 2014 title on Sunday, but needs to at least beat team-mate Pedrosa, while limiting any points lost to Rossi and fellow M1 star Jorge Lorenzo.

While Pedrosa's side of the garage will need to rebuild his bike for the race, Marquez's crew will also be busy after an engine issue in morning practice. The Factory Hondas also continue to look like a handful under hard braking.

Lorenzo and Pramac Ducati's Andrea Iannone will start fifth and sixth, with Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha), Cal Crutchlow (Ducati) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) on row three.

Bradley Smith completed the top ten while Aleix Espargaro (Forward Yamaha) and Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda) made it through to Qualifying 2 by leading the Qualifying 1 session.

The Honda and Yamaha riders all qualified with the soft rear tyre, which Dovizioso is also set to use in the race.

Despite typhoon warnings, conditions remained dry and bright, with confidence growing that Sunday's race will also escape the rain.

Qualifying 2:
1. Andrea Dovizioso
2. Valentino Rossi
3. Dani Pedrosa
4. Marc Marquez
5. Jorge Lorenzo
6. Andrea Iannone
7. Pol Espargaro
8. Cal Crutchlow
9. Stefan Bradl
10. Bradley Smith
11. Aleix Espargaro
12. Alvaro Bautista

Tagged as: Ducati , Andrea Dovizioso

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October 11, 2014 7:45 AM

reinmacre: "Dovizioso made full use of the special extra-soft rear tyre only available to Ducati and the Open class riders" Weak. WTF. Open class, tires, w/e. Step your game up Ducati. MotoGP rules are absurd.
Perhaps every article about Marquez's success should also highlight the various advantages at his disposal to achieve them? I can list ... Tyres that favour Honda over main rival Yamaha Clutch & gearbox systems costing more than entire team budgets R&D backing in the hundreds of millions Access to the best engineers and mechanics Regular 'go faster' development parts


October 11, 2014 7:04 AM

Stunning lap from Dovi. The only pity is that it doesn't mean much for the race, except that it ensured that he starts from the best position. Incredible lap times from the top 10 really. Great work from Rossi too.

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