The two factory Ducati Team riders scored a splendid front row start for the Catalan GP, round 7 of the MotoGP World Championship which gets underway at 1400 CET tomorrow at the Montmeló circuit. Jorge Lorenzo powered to his first pole position on a Ducati, chalking up an incredible record of 14 front-row starts in 14 successive races held at the Catalan circuit. The Mallorca-born rider this morning was 12th quickest in FP3 but, thanks to second place overall in the combined standings with the time he set yesterday, he went through directly into the afternoon’s Q2 session.
Third place in qualifying went to Andrea Dovizioso, who this morning topped the timesheets in FP3. The Italian rider, who will start from the front row together with his team-mate and Marc Marquez, went out on track with the ‘prancing horse’ stem of Francesco Baracca on the front and rear fairing of his Desmosedici GP. This is in memory of the Italian First World War flying ace, who hailed from the same region as Dovizioso (Baracca was born in Lugo di Romagna, also like famed Ducati engineer Fabio Taglioni) and who was killed in action exactly 100 years ago.
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99): 1st (1’38.680)
“I’m very satisfied because today was a fantastic day! We have been competitive in every session and I feel entirely at ease on the bike. My first pole position with Ducati is a really special one and it gives me a special satisfaction because I’ve done it at the Catalan GP. After the good sensations at Mugello, coming here and progressing in the same way means that we are working very well. In my first exit I tried to set a time but for some reason I didn’t have the same grip with the rear tyre. I kept calm and on my second run I pushed to the max. It wasn’t easy because Marquez was also lapping really strongly, but in the end we did it. The race will be difficult, but we are amongst the favourites and it’ll be vitally important to keep concentration for the 24 laps.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04): 3rd (1’38.923)
“Today’s qualifying went very well and I’m very happy with a front-row position. It was important to start from the first two rows here at Montmeló because tomorrow in the race we will have to try and manage the tyres well. Jorge has been very quick since yesterday, but we’ve been able to improve after every session: this was very important and we did it. I came to qualifying with a good feeling and even though I made a small mistake at Turn 10, in the end I was able to set a very good lap time. I’m very satisfied because we’ve worked well this weekend and even though we know that it will be difficult to manage the tyres for the entire race, all the riders will have the same problem, and we’re sure we can play our cards.”