Ducati clinch first pole since 2010

MotoGP Q2 was another frantic sprint for pole at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan, with the honours taken by Andrea Dovizioso – as Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa also slotted onto the front row – despite a late crash for Pedrosa.

A new pole record of the Twin Ring Motegi circuit of 1`44.502 by Dovizioso gave Ducati Team their first pole position since Casey Stoner was on pole at Valencia in 2010.

Behind Dovizioso, Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) had provisional pole early in the session before he dropped down the timesheet, only to respond with a hot lap which left him just 0.055s behind his pole setting compatriot.

Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) was also chasing pole and was on a hot lap when he fell at turn 12 in the final stages. Nonetheless the Spaniard qualified on the front row, a quarter of a second behind Dovizioso, with three different manufacturers represented on the first line of the grid.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) will launch his bid to retain the title from fourth on the grid having qualified just 0.02s behind his teammate Pedrosa.

Aragon race winner Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) qualified fifth, a 0.282s gap from pole. The second row is completed by Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) who like Dovizioso took advantage of an extra soft rear tyre.

Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) all qualified on row three, whilst Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) slotted into tenth place.

Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) made it through from an intriguing and fiercely contested Q1 session to qualify 11th and 12th respectively. Espargaro was forced to push hard to get through from Q1 on his final lap after being put under pressure by Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing) who will start 13th

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