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Brno MotoGP: Dovizioso grabs first pole since 2016

Brno MotoGP: Dovizioso grabs first pole since 2016

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso took pole position for MotoGP's Czech Grand Prix, beating Valentino Rossi by two tenths at the end of a typically thrilling shootout at Brno.

Dovizioso, boasting the latest-spec aero fairing on his Ducati, leapt from eighth to the top of the timesheets on his flying lap after the chequered flag fell, posting a 1m54.689s to oust Marc Marquez from the top of the leaderboard.

It marks the Italian rider's first pole of the season, as well as his first since the 2016 Malaysian GP.

Rossi followed in immediately behind Dovizioso to secure his place in the middle of the front row with a time 0.267s slower than his compatriot, demoting Marquez to third.

It was the other works Ducati of Jorge Lorenzo, likewise with the new fairing, that led the opening runs after a 1m55.059s lap put him nearly half a second up on the opposition, led by LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow.

But Lorenzo could not make a significant improvement on his second run, posting a 1m55.038s that was soon beaten by Marquez, and then by both Dovizioso and Rossi.

Joining Lorenzo on the second row were Crutchlow and the lead Pramac Ducati of Danilo Petrucci.

Johann Zarco was seventh-fastest on the Tech 3 Yamaha ahead of Suzuki pair Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone, who briefly went second fastest only to then tumble down the order, and Dani Pedrosa's Honda.

Tito Rabat (Avintia Ducati) and Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) completed the Q2 order, the latter perplexingly posting a time three tenths slower than the one that allowed him to progress out of Q1.

Q1: Vinales leads crash-filled session

Vinales was the highest-profile runner in Q1 and duly commanded much of the session, taking an early lead in the opening runs ahead of the Nieto Ducati of Alvaro Bautista.

Vinales improved again in the latter part of the session to put his Q2 progression beyond doubt, but Bautista found himself ousted by Rins' Suzuki before he fell at Turn 12 trying to better his time.

Bautista was therefore demoted to fourth, with Franco Morbidelli ending up the quickest of those to miss the Q2 cut.

The Marc VDS Honda rider will head up the fifth row, ahead of Bautista and the lead KTM of Bradley Smith.

Pramac Ducati rider Jack Miller also crashed early on at Turn 9, kicking the gravel in frustration, putting him down in 17th on the grid behind the second Tech 3 Yamaha of Hafizh Syahrin.

Honda wildcard Stefan Bradl will start one place behind in 18th, while third Suzuki rider Sylvain Guintoli will line up 21st.

Aprilia endured a nightmare session as Scott Redding crashed at Turn 3 and Aleix Espargaro appeared to suffer a mechanical failure. Espargaro will start 24th and Redding 25th.

Pos # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'54.689  
2 46 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'54.956 0.267
3 93 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 1'54.961 0.272
4 99 Spain Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 1'55.038 0.349
5 35 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'55.055 0.366
6 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'55.203 0.514
7 5 France Johann Zarco Yamaha 1'55.221 0.532
8 29 Italy Andrea Iannone Suzuki 1'55.270 0.581
9 42 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'55.431 0.742
10 26 Spain Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'55.474 0.785
11 53 Spain Tito Rabat Ducati 1'55.686 0.997
12 25 Spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'55.823 1.134
13 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli Honda 1'56.029 1.340
14 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista Ducati 1'56.031 1.342
15 38 United Kingdom Bradley Smith KTM 1'56.218 1.529
16 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin Yamaha 1'56.285 1.596
17 43 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 1'56.316 1.627
18 6 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 1'56.330 1.641
19 44 Spain Pol Espargaro KTM 1'56.353 1.664
20 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'56.512 1.823
21 50 France Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki 1'57.037 2.348
22 12 Switzerland Thomas Luthi Honda 1'57.208 2.519
23 17 Czech Republic Karel Abraham Ducati 1'57.217 2.528
24 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'57.250 2.561
25 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding Aprilia 1'57.438 2.749
26 10 Belgium Xavier Simeon Ducati 1'58.048 3.359
Brno MotoGP qualifying – as it happened

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Czech GP
Drivers Andrea Dovizioso
Teams Ducati Team
Author Jamie Klein