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Row 2 for Andrea Iannone, sixth in qualifying at Sepang. Dovizioso sets seventh time and starts from row 3 for Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix

Ducati Team 102415

At the end of qualifying for the Shell Malaysia Grand Prix, the two Ducati Team riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso placed sixth and seventh respectively and will start Sunday’s penultimate round of the season at Sepang from rows 2 and 3.

FP3 in the morning finished with Dovizioso in eighth and Iannone, halted during the session by a technical issue on his GP15, in eleventh but the combined standings of the three free practice sessions saw both Ducati Team men inside the top 10 and as a result qualifying for Q2.

After the thirty-minute FP4 session in the early afternoon, which saw Iannone third and Dovizioso sixth and both lapping with a good pace, the two Italian riders then went out for their decisive qualifying run. Iannone, opting for a three-exit strategy like Phillip Island, and Dovizioso (two exits) always used a soft rear and they set their best times on their first run.

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 2’00.224 (6th)

“I think that today it was difficult for me to do anything more. I tried to give my maximum, but I’m struggling to get the bike through the turns and so was not able to go any quicker. Obviously we are not happy, but now we must stay focussed and continue working to understand the right direction to take in order to reduce our problems to a minimum or at least manage to quick-fix them. I don’t expect any big changes for tomorrow’s race, but all things considered I’m not in such a bad position. As for our race pace in FP4, after Dani and Marc there are Jorge and me, and then Vale, but we will have to see if and how much the situation will change with the race tyre.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2’00.423 (7th)

“In FP4 we didn’t go too bad with our race pace: even though we aren’t at the same level as the top four, we’re not far off. Instead in qualifying we didn’t go as well as we could have done, because I reckon I could have got under the two-minute mark. Unfortunately everything becomes more complicated when you can’t do what you want on the bike, and so it’s a real struggle to pull out 100%.”