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French GP at Le Mans: superb front row start for Dovizioso in third, Crutchlow twelfth

Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso put in an excellent run in qualifying for the French Grand Prix, round 5 of the MotoGP World Championship, which will take place tomorrow at the Le Mans circuit. The Italian rider starts from the front row after setting the third quickest time of 1’32.755 towards the end of the decisive qualifying session.

This will be the third time Dovizioso starts from the front row with a Ducati, the Italian repeating his 2013 performance in qualifying on the French track. He also set a top speed record at the Le Mans track this weekend, hitting the 311.1 km/h mark during this morning’s third free practice session.

Team-mate Cal Crutchlow was in the end quite satisfied with his performance. Even though Cal was unable to find the right feeling with his Desmosedici GP14 yesterday, the British rider improved considerably today. Crutchlow moved into second qualifying with a second place in Q1, and then his best time of 1’33.315 in Q2 earned him twelfth place on the grid.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 3rd (1’32.755)
“Starting on the front row here at Le Mans is fabulous! My first run in Q2 was useful to get a good idea of how to do all the sectors; I really felt I could do a good lap with a new tyre and I succeeded in doing so. It’s important to start on the front row tomorrow, because we are all pretty close together. We’ve worked very well this weekend, we started off quite quick on Friday and not far from the frontrunners, but above all we’ve succeeded in improving the feeling with the bike in every session. Today we also had a race pace that was pretty close to those up front. I don’t think we’ll manage to fight for the podium, but anything can happen and for sure starting from the front row will give us a big hand!”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 12th (1’33.315)
“I’m quite satisfied today because we made a big improvement in lap time, even though my grid position is not great and for the moment we are not quite fast enough. However we are a lot faster than Ducati last year and I am faster than what I went last year when I qualified fourth with another bike, so it shows the competition in MotoGP is tough. I will discuss with the team tonight a plan for tomorrow’s race; hopefully we can get a good start and challenge with some of the other guys to get a good result. I think it’ll be a big battle tomorrow!”