andrea doviziso motegi motogp pole 2014

Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso continued the scintillating pace he showed yesterday at Motegi to smash the existing circuit lap record by four-tenths of a second and claim pole position for tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix. In an incredibly competitive Qualifying Practice 2 session where the top ten riders set personal best lap times within half a second of each other, Dovizioso put together the perfect lap to set a time of 1’44.502 to finish 0.055 seconds ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi, who qualified in second place. Third quickest in qualifying was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, the Repsol Honda rider setting a personal best lap time of 1’44.755. Both Rossi and Pedrosa set their quickest lap using the combination of the soft compound rear and medium compound front slicks, while Dovizioso used the extra-soft rear and medium compound front slicks on his way to pole position. Today’s Qualifying Practice 2 was run at a fierce pace with the top eight ranked riders in the session setting personal best lap times under the existing Circuit Best Lap time at Motegi.

Warmer conditions were present today at Motegi resulting in higher track temperatures than yesterday, with a peak recording of 40°C in the afternoon Free Practice 4 session. All three rear slick options were utilised today by the riders and although all the compound selections are viable race options, today’s feedback indicates that the extra-soft compound rear slick for the Open-class riders, and the soft compound rear slick for the Ducati, Honda and Yamaha riders will be the most popular race tyres. Front tyre choice for almost the entire grid for tomorrow’s race will be the medium compound front slick due to its good braking character and consistent performance. Slightly cooler temperatures are forecast for tomorrow’s twenty-four lap Japanese Grand Prix which will start at 1400 local time (GMT +9).

Andrea Dovizioso

“It’s great satisfaction to finally obtain this pole position with Ducati! We have been through some difficult times in the last year and a half, but we have constantly improved in the last few races. To succeed in being so quick throughout the weekend here at Motegi, also with my race pace, establish a good feeling with the bike before qualifying and know that you can fight for the pole is really a great feeling! We have always worked well since the start of the year, but this weekend went even better because we managed to find a good set-up almost from the start and only had to work on fine-tuning the bike, and session after session this made all the difference. Here it’s very difficult to do a perfect lap, because it doesn’t take much to overshoot: in fact I made a mistake in the downhill turn, but luckily I managed to take pole all the same!”

Valentino Rossi

“I am very happy and satisfied. Especially because I will get to start from the front row, which will be very important for tomorrow’s race. It will be a long race and very tough because everybody will push at their maximum. I’m happy because with the team we worked well on the bike to improve the setting. We did a good job and before the qualifying I was strong. I hope this modification also helps my rhythm for the race. During the practice session my rhythm was not so bad, but it was also nothing special. If we want to fight for the victory tomorrowwe have to improve. At first I was worried about my head injury, but then I realised I’m ok. When it comes to the finger, this finger is very important for braking. I feel pain, but I have power in my finger and I have feeling on the brake so I can ride.”

Marc Marquez

“I’m happy, even though we didn’t achieve our goal of getting onto the front row, because we have improved ahead of tomorrow. The pace that we have is good. It’s a pity that we didn’t find a perfect lap in qualifying, but we are confident for tomorrowand ready to fight for the win. Our pace is similar to that of Rossi, Pedrosa and Lorenzo and this is important. We also shouldn’t overlook Dovizioso, who also has a very good pace on race tyres”.

Dani Pedrosa

“I’m happy today because we had a good qualifying session and were setting some good times. Unfortunately I crashed on the last lap, almost at the final corner, when I was going quickly to try to get pole position. Luckily I’m fine and tomorrow I will try to use this front row spot to get a good start. It could be a very tight race, because there are many riders who have shown a good pace and this is a circuit that allows for very close lap times. We’ll see what happens but we will strive to do our best and we will remain fully focused. It will be important to ride with skill and bravery”.

Jorge Lorenzo

“My last lap could have been faster, because I made a mistake. I lost two tenths but the other guys, Valentino, Dovizioso, Marc and Dani made good lap times. I didn’t do a perfect lap, but the important thing is that our pace is really good. I’m very confident. Let’s hope that it doesn’t rain tomorrow and that we can show our potential. It’s important to make a good start and try to overtake some riders on the first laps, but the race is very long so having a good pace is going to be the most important thing. To have a good race you have to have good feeling. Let’s hope for a competitive race and try to fight for the win.”

Cal Crutchlow

“Ducati have done a great job getting the pole position with Andrea and I’m happy for that, and I think they did a good job also with my side of the garage. We’ve been working hard to improve the feeling with the GP14 and we were competitive today. To be one-tenth off the front row is obviously disappointing and I made a mistake on my quick lap, which was my own fault, but I’m pleased anyway. A good job by the team all round and hopefully we can get a good result tomorrow.”

MotoGP Motegi qualifying timings

  • FRONT ROW
    1. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1’44.502
    2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’44.557
    3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’44.755
  • SECOND ROW
    4. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’44.775
    5. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’44.784
    6. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Pramac Racing 1’44.854
  • THIRD ROW
    7. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’44.867
    8. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Ducati Team 1’44.898
    9. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda MotoGP 1’45.005
  • FOURTH ROW
    10. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’45.044
    11. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) NGM Forward Racing 1’45.315
    12. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Go&Fun Honda Gresini 1’45.677
  • FIFTH ROW
    13. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Energy T.I. Pramac Racing 1’45.971
    14. Nicky Hayden (USA) Drive M7 Aspar 1’46.465
    15. Scott Redding (GBR) Go&Fun Honda Gresini 1’46.499
  • SIXTH ROW
    16. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing 1’46.796
    17. Katsuyuki Nakasuga (JPN) YAMALUBE Racing Team with YSP 1’46.876
    18. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Drive M7 Aspar 1’46.915
  • SEVENTH ROW
    19. Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing 1’46.948
    20. Alex De Angelis (RSM) NGM Forward Racing 1’47.092
    21. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo IodaRacing Team 1’47.757
  • EIGHTH ROW
    22. Michael Laverty (GBR) Paul Bird Motorsport 1’48.144
    23. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Racing 1’48.185
    24. Brok Parkes (AUS) Paul Bird Motorsport 1’48.261