Row 2 start for Jorge Lorenzo and Michele Pirro, fourth and sixth in qualifying for the Valencia GP. Andrea Dovizioso, in ninth place, will start the last race of the 2017 season from row 3

Ducati Team

11 November 2017
Jorge Lorenzo and Michele Pirro will start tomorrow’s final round of the 2017 season, the Valencia GP, from the second row of the grid after finishing fourth and sixth in qualifying. Title contender Andrea Dovizioso could only go ninth quickest in Q2 and will start the MotoGP World Championship decider from the third row.
In the morning’s FP3 session both Lorenzo and Pirro had managed to improve on the times they set in FP2 yesterday to finish fourth and seventh respectively in the combined standings, while Dovizioso, thanks to yesterday’s time, finished the decisive session for access to Q2 in eighth.
Despite a spectacular crash in qualifying on his first run, Jorge Lorenzo powered to fourth fastest time in 1’30.460, while Michele Pirro and Andrea Dovizioso finished the session in sixth (1’30.764) and ninth (1’30.961).
The Valencia Grand Prix, held over 30 laps, will get underway tomorrow afternoon at 14.00 CET at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste (Valencia).
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 1’30.460 (4th)
“It’s a pity I couldn’t manage to start on the front row, but overall it was a positive day for me. I was lucky I didn’t hurt myself in the crash because I was going really fast, and I’m disappointed about that because I was doing a great lap, with a time that was maybe good enough for pole. On the second run my confidence with the rear tyre was worse and I was unable to improve my time. The most important thing however is that I’m one of the riders with the best race pace, and even though Marquez is a bit quicker, the fact that he’s fighting for the world title could be an advantage for me. In the last few races I’ve always improved my feeling with the bike and now I can be fast and consistent and this will be important for tomorrow’s race.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 1’30.764 (6th)
“I’m happy about my qualifying session today, especially because I set my time on my own, without any help from anyone. We had decided on a strategy with Jorge and we went out of the box together, but in the end his crash ruined our plans. I’m sorry for Dovi, who starts a bit further back, but for sure the race will be another story and we will try and do our best, even though we know it’s not going to be easy. I want to thank Ducati and the guys in the test team because it’s the first time I’ve gone so strongly at Valencia: this means that the bike has improved a lot, and the rider is not bad either …”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’30.961 (9th)
“Today wasn’t a great qualifying session for me, and that was a real pity, but this afternoon we managed to improve our pace and we’re not looking too bad for the race. I think that tomorrow we’ll have a chance of fighting for the podium, but we know it’s going to be tough as there are several riders who have good pace. Marquez is very fast, but there also were a lot of crashes and this means that even our rivals don’t have much of a margin. We have to continue to work tomorrow morning in the warm-up and ride in a smoother and less aggressive way, but in the race we will try right until the very end!”
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