Malaysia MotoGP: Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso gets second pole of 2016

Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso claimed his second pole position of the MotoGP season, in a damp Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying session at Sepang

Malaysia MotoGP: Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso gets second pole of 2016

While third practice on Saturday morning was dry, rain fell shortly afterwards and the track surface was still wet for qualifying.

Covering the unlikely prospect of the resurfaced circuit drying, Ducati for Dovizioso and Yamaha for Valentino Rossi had second bikes readied with intermediate tyres when Q2 started.

However they weren't needed, with Dovizioso leading the way on wets for all of the 15 minutes.

The Italian's first flying lap was a 2m11.511s, 1.624 seconds faster than his closest challenger at the time, Rossi.

Rossi, his Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and world champion Marc Marquez all reduced that gap, with Lorenzo within 0.276s of Dovizioso when the chequered flag was shown.

Dovizioso changed from a soft wet rear tyre to a hard midway through the session and went faster again on his final lap.

With his gains coming in the final sector, Dovizioso's marginal improvement to 2m11.485s secured his fifth MotoGP career pole by 0.246s.

Another rider to improve after the flag, Rossi pipped Lorenzo by 0.056s to grab second, while third for the Spaniard still represents a return to form in wet conditions.

Marquez wound up fourth, the Honda rider having set his time relatively early, while Cal Crutchlow was the best of the satellite riders in fifth.

On his 31st birthday, though, Crutchlow had a torrid Saturday and was nursing a battered right hand after crashing his LCR Honda third practice.

That crash meant he had to go through Q1, and he topped that session by 1.293s, but then fell again at Turn 11 late in the main session, while 12th and last of the group.

But he got back on and jumped up to fifth after the chequered flag.

Injury returnee Andrea Iannone qualified sixth on the second factory Ducati, ahead of Suzuki pair Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales, Espargaro coming unstuck at Turn 9 with two minutes remaining.

Alvaro Bautista was ninth for Aprilia, while Loris Baz made it out of Q1 with Crutchlow - despite crashing at Turn 2 midway through the session - and the Avintia Ducati rider qualified a career-best 10th.

Tech3 Yamaha's Bradley Smith and Marc VDS Honda's Jack Miller narrowly missed Q2 berths, both riders lapping within 0.023s of Baz's time in second, and will start 13th and 14th.

QUALIFYING RESULTS:

Pos Rider Team Time Gap
1 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2m11.485s -
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2m11.731s 0.246s
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2m11.787s 0.302s
4 Marc Marquez Honda 2m11.874s 0.389s
5 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 2m12.558s 1.073s
6 Andrea Iannone Ducati 2m12.598s 1.113s
7 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 2m12.869s 1.384s
8 Maverick Vinales Suzuki 2m12.981s 1.496s
9 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 2m13.325s 1.840s
10 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati 2m13.452s 1.967s
11 Pol Espargaro Tech3 Yamaha 2m13.707s 2.222s
12 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati 2m13.973s 2.488s
13 Bradley Smith Tech3 Yamaha 2m12.898s 1.413s
14 Jack Miller Marc VDS Honda 2m12.907s 1.422s
15 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 2m13.776s 2.291s
16 Stefan Bradl Aprilia 2m13.850s 2.365s
17 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda 2m14.179s 2.694s
18 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 2m14.433s 2.948s
19 Eugene Laverty Aspar Ducati 2m14.769s 3.284s
20 Yonny Hernandez Aspar Ducati 2m14.786s 3.301s
21 Tito Rabat Marc VDS Honda 2m15.894s 4.409s

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