MotoGP: Dovizioso powers to pole in Malaysian rain

Published: 29 October 2016

Andrea Dovizioso has powered to pole position in the rain for tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix, taking the top spot from the Movistar Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo after playing his cards right in the damp session.

Dovizioso was fast out of the box, setting a benchmark time early in the session and controlling it for the duration – although the Italian was able to sneak in another time at the end to cement his top spot.

“Every practice has been a challenge, because of the rain but also the asphalt. The grip is very good but there are wet patches on the line, and you can’t ride quite how you want. And here when it starts to rain it’s really heavy…you have to adapt to every condition and I’m really happy with the way we worked with our strategy – I was able to do a good lap time on the harder tyre and the soft. My strategy was supposed to be non-stop and qualifying on the soft tyre, and I knew everyone else was on the hard so I thought maybe I was wrong.

“But then I decided to come in the box a bit late, and then I could only do a few fast laps on the hard tyre, but the second one was enough for the pole position. This morning in the dry it wasn’t great, but this weekend the conditions have been strange. So I hope we can try and improve the feeling tomorrow in warm up. Everyone wants to race in the dry, but we are competitive in the wet.”

Marc Marquez, still suffering the effects of missing track time yesterday thanks to gastroenteritis, was fourth, ahead of Cal Crutchlow, who made the second row despite both injuries this morning and crashing out of the session and remounting before jumping from twelfth to fifth. The second Ducati of Andrea Iannone rounded out the second row.

Bradley Smith was 13th, having missed out on moving through to qualifying two by only 0.014, while a struggling Scott Redding was 19th on the Pramac Ducati and Eugene Laverty was relegated to 19th by a mechanical problem.