Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
DORNA Sport SL Team Official Press Release – Losail International Circuit (Qatar) Saturday, 28 March 2015
Andrea Dovizioso grabs sensational pole for Ducati
The Italian rider takes pole position for his Ducati Team on the Desmosedici GP15, ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez in Qatar.
It was always going to be close in QP2, and the first qualifying session of the season did not disappoint as Dovizioso took a sensational pole position for the factory Ducati Team ahead of the Repsol Honda’s of Marquez (+0.324s) and Pedrosa (+0.217s).
At the end of the session you could see how much this pole meant to Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Team General Manager) who oversaw the development of the new GP15 from scratch. Reigning MotoGP™ Champion Marquez had no response to Dovizioso’s pace on the softer option tyre and had to settle for 3rd on the grid behind his teammate Pedrosa.
Andrea Iannone will start from the front of the second row in 4th on the other factory Ducati, with Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez (+0.562s) making it three Ducati’s in the top five, in 5th place. Jorge Lorenzo (+0.598s) is in 6th, with Bradley Smith (+0.618s) heading the 3rd row on the satellite Monster Tech 3 Yamaha finishing ahead of the Factory YZR-M1 of Valentino Rossi (+0.738s), who will start from 8th.
CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who had shown impressive pace during practice, crashed out at turn 14 and had to settle for 12th place.
Earlier in Q1 Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci led right from the start, setting a time seven-tenths quicker than his best from practice and claiming top spot. The battle for the second automatic qualifying spot was won by Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith in dramatic fashion. The British rider pinching 2nd place from Maverick Viñales on the Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR right at the end of the session, after the checkered flag had been shown.
Briton Lowes takes Moto2™ pole ahead of Zarco & Rabat
Speed Up Racing’s Sam Lowes took the first pole of the Moto2™ season in a thrilling qualifying session in Qatar.
The first Moto2™ QP of the season saw Sam Lowes, Johann Zarco and Tito Rabat immediately resuming their battle from free practice. The three riders swapping fastest times throughout the session, until Sandro Cortese also joined the party with just 5 minutes to go.
Lowes crashed while in provisional pole position with just 3 minutes to go, as he lost the front at turn 4, ending his session early. This gave Zarco and Rabat the incentive they needed to challenge for pole, but neither could improve their times, and it was the British rider who took the first pole position of the season with a 1’59.423.
Frenchman Zarco (+0.332s) on the Ajo Motorsport machine will start from 2nd, with reigning Moto2™ Champion Rabat (+390s) on the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing Kalex completing the front row. German Sandro Cortese (+0.422s) and his compatriot Jonas Folger (+0.515s) were in 4th and 5th respectively, ahead of Belgian Xavier Simeon (+0.809s) who will start from 6th.
Alex Rins once again impressed on his Moto2™ debut, and will start from 9th place on the grid on the Paginas Amarillas Kalex, while last year’s championship runner-up Mika Kallio could only manage to get on the 6th row for his new Italtrans Racing Team, as he ended the session in 16th.
Masbou claims career first Moto3™ pole in Qatar
SAXOPRINT RTG’s Alexis Masbou claimed the first pole position of the 2015 Moto3™ season, and the first of his career, in Qatar.
The first Moto3™ qualifying session of the season did not disappoint with three-tenths of a second the difference between pole and 10th place, and just 0.929s separating the top 17. In an incredible final ten minutes, as riders took advantage of fresh tyres, the lead was constantly being swapped.
Most teams used “formation riding”, where teammates lap in groups around the circuit to allow them to take advantage of each others’ slipstream to set faster times, and it almost seemed like a race as riders chopped and changed position out on track trying to take advantage of the racing line.
Masbou finished with a 2’06.170 ahead of the Husqvarna Factory Laglisse of Isaac Viñales (+0.067s), with Niccolo Antonelli (+0.075s) completing the front row on his Oncetta-Rivacold Honda. Francesco Bagnaia (+0.083s) was the leading Mahindra in 4th, in front of Masbou’s teammate, Scottish Rider John McPhee (+0.084s), in 5th. The man who set the fastest time in practice, Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent (+0.256s) will start from the 3rd row in 9th.