Dovizioso Grabs Pole at Rain Soaked Sepang

by Louis Suddaby

Andrea Dovizioso demonstrated his ability in wet conditions once again with pole position at a rain soaked Sepang. The Ducati rider backed up his pole in similar conditions at Assen with another impressive display, beating the Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo to top spot.

Saturday’s third practice session had taken place under sunny skies but that didn’t prevent us from seeing a few surprises with Phillip Island winner Cal Crutchlow missing out on an automatic spot in Q2 after crashing late on. The Briton made amends though, comfortably setting the pace in Q1, ensuring he would still have a say in the fight for pole.

Having opted for the softer option wet tyre, Dovizioso made a rapid start to Q2 with a 2:11.511 on his opening timed lap and little did he know it, the Italian had already done enough for a fifth career pole. Marc Marquez initially slotted into second, four tenths adrift, but the newly resurfaced Sepang circuit wasn’t evolving as many would have expected and the chasing pack wouldn’t get much closer.

In the end, Rossi closed the gap to a quarter of a second on his final lap, pinching second from Lorenzo with Marquez relegated to the front of the second row. Crutchlow salvaged fifth despite crashing again midway through Q2 while Andrea Iannone finished a solid sixth on his return from injury.

Aleix Espargaro, another rider to slide off in Q2, qualified seventh ahead of team-mate Maverick Vinales who was the quickest rider of all in the dry while Alvaro Bautista illustrated Aprilia’s improvement once again with ninth. Loris Baz completed the top ten, having joined Crutchlow in escaping Q1, with Pol Espargaro and Hector Barbera joining him on row four.


2016 Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix (Qualifying Classification)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time 
14. Andrea DOVIZIOSODucatiDucati Team2:11.485Q2
246. Valentino ROSSIYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP2:11.731Q2
399. Jorge LORENZOYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP2:11.787Q2
493. Marc MARQUEZHondaRepsol Honda Team2:11.874Q2
535. Cal CRUTCHLOWHondaLCR Honda2:12.558Q2
629. Andrea IANNONEDucatiDucati Team2:12.598Q2
741. Aleix ESPARGAROSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR2:12.869Q2
825. Maverick VINALESSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR2:12.981Q2
919. Alvaro BAUTISTAApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini2:13.325Q2
1076. Loris BAZDucatiAvintia Racing2:13.452Q2
1144. Pol ESPARGAROYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 32:13.707Q2
128. Hector BARBERADucatiAvintia Racing2:13.973Q2
1338. Bradley SMITHYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 32:12.898Q1
1473. Jack MILLERHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS2:12.907Q1
159. Danilo PETRUCCIDucatiOcto Pramac Yakhnich2:13.776Q1
166. Stefan BRADLApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini2:13.850Q1
177. Hiroshi AOYAMAHondaRepsol Honda Team2:14.179Q1
1845. Scott REDDINGDucatiOcto Pramac Yakhnich2:14.433Q1
1950. Eugene LAVERTYDucatiPull & Bear Aspar Team2:14.769Q1
2068. Yonny HERNANDEZDucatiPull & Bear Aspar Team2:14.786Q1
2153. Tito RABATHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS2:15.894Q1

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