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Strong Night for Ducati in Qatar

Moto GP 2015

maddix park mx
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso demonstrated the threat the new Desmosedici GP15 poses on a soft tire during qualifying in Qatar, blasting to the top of the timesheet late in the session for the first pole position of the year. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedorsa, who was quickest for much of Q2, dropped to second-place followed by teammate and defending world champion Marc Marquez in third. 

It was a strong night for Ducati all around through both qualifying sessions. Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci was basically untouched at the head of the pack in Q1 and for much of the session Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera trailed in second. A shootout between Marc VDS’ Scott Redding, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Vinales and Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith ended Barbera’s hopes of moving through to Q2, with Redding displacing the Ducati first followed by Vinales grabbing the runner-up spot late in the session. The Suzuki rider lost his pass on to the top-12 thanks to a fast final lap from Smith, the Yamaha rider besting Vinales’ time by one one-hundredth of a second. 

In Q2, Pedrosa wasted no time, getting to the track first followed closely by Petrucci. Pedrosa went on to set his best lap up to that point on his first fast go-around, Petrucci doing his best to keep up and benefit from the tow. Marquez pushed for time as well during the early going, and through the initial sectors was pacing faster than his teammate, but when he crossed the line the first time he was unable to get ahead of Pedrosa. Dovi and his teammate, Andrea Iannone, were quick from the start as well, getting into third and fourth position. Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo also earned a spot in the top-four for a period, but then riders came in for fresh rubber and everything changed. 

In the final three minutes, Pedrosa continued to hold the top spot and was pushing for a better lap but had Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro trailing close behind. Marquez was carrying some luggage as well, as both Pramac Ducati riders hitched a tow on the back of the champ. The draft ended up helping Yonny Hernandez the most, the Ducati rider jumping up to fifth after the lap trailing Marquez. The Repsol Honda rider was still unable to get the better of Pedrosa however. 

With 20 seconds remaining in the session Dovi crossed the line and became the only rider to log a lap quicker than Pedrosa, coming in two tenths quicker than the Repsol rider. Running order stayed steady further back, Pedrosa staying in second, Marquez in third, Iannone in fourth and Hernandez in fifth. 

Lorenzo was the best of the Yamaha riders in sixth, with Smith trailing in seventh and Lorenzo’s teammate, Valentino Rossi, in eighth. Petrucci finished ninth with Smith’s teammate, Pol Espargaro, claiming 10th and Aleix Espargaro finishing 11th. CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow placed 12th, unable to challenge for a better position after taking a tumble in the final minutes. He was unharmed in the incident but didn’t’ have enough time to regroup before the end of the session. 

MotoGP Qatar Qualifying Results 2015 
1. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1’54.113 
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’54.330 
3. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1’54.437 
4. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 1’54.521 
5. Yonny Hernandez (Ducati) 1’54.675 
6. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’54.711 
7. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 1’54.732 
8. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1’54.851 
9. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 1’54.876 
10. Pol Espargaro (Yamaha) 1’55.004 
 
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