Qatar MotoGP: Dovi christens Ducati GP15 with debut pole

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Andrea Dovizioso has christened the new Ducati GP15 machine with pole position on it’s first ever ride in anger, taking the top spot off Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez under the floodlights in Losail.

“There is a big difference from last year’s pole, because I can now say that the feeling of the bike is so good that we can think about battling with the fastest riders. I had a good feeling, and was able to make a special time with the soft tyre – but I know we can be consistent in the race too.”

It wasn’t the only impressive performance of the night for the Italian manufacturer, though, with Andrea Iannone and Yonny Hernandez dominating the second row in fourth and fifth, ahead of the first of the Yamahas in the form of Jorge Lorenzo.

Bradley Smith leads the third row, salvaging a poor weekend to date with a fast lap to move from Q1 to Q2, before holding off Valentino Rossi and fellow Q1 graduate Danilo Petrucci.

Pol Espargaro was the fastest of the brothers in tenth, just ahead of the factory Suzuki of Aleix, while Cal Crutchlow was demoted to last in the session after a front end crash on his fast lap left him spectating.

Scott Redding will start his first race on a factory bike in fourteenth, while GP rookie Eugene Laverty is nineteenth on the grid.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer