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Front row for Iannone, third in qualifying for Italian GP at Mugello. Pirro places in eleventh and starts from row 4, while Dovizioso in thirteenth is one row further back

Ducati Team MotoGP_052116

Andrea Iannone will start Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix from the front row of the grid after qualifying in third place at the Mugello circuit. The Italian rider, after going quickest in both the morning’s FP3 and the afternoon’s FP4 sessions, powered to a time of 1’46.607, one-tenth away from poleman Valentino Rossi.

Michele Pirro didn’t have such a good qualifying run after going well in free practice. The Italian, running as a wild-card entry in this race, finished FP3 in tenth place and went directly into Q2. However, due also to a problem that forced him to use his second bike in qualifying, he was unable to go any better than a time of 1’47.361, which put him into eleventh place and a row 4 start for tomorrow’s race.

Andrea Dovizioso’s day was a bit of a complicated one, after he suffered a problem with his neck yesterday which hampered him during free practice. In FP3 the Italian was unable to get into the top 10 and he finished the session in twelfth place. After a good FP4 session, which saw him place fourth, Andrea went out in Q1 but despite setting an excellent time of 1’47.089, he was unable to go through into Q2.

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’46.607 (3rd)
“It’s always positive to start from the front row but last year I went much better in qualifying! Seriously speaking, I expected to struggle during the one-lap sprint, because my bike slides about quite a bit at the front and so when I’m looking for cornering speed the steering tends to close and I also took a few risks. But we have a very good race pace and we did a really excellent FP4 session in hot weather, which wasn’t easy. This was the first real session when we weren’t at the top, but, but all things considered so far the weekend has been very positive for us: we started off well and I am convinced I can do a good race tomorrow.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 1’47.361 (11th)
“The qualifying session didn’t go the way I expected, because on my first exit I had a problem with my bike and was forced to return to the pits and use the other one, with which I didn’t have such a good feeling, but above all I lost a chance to lap with two new tyres. It was a pity, because I only needed just a little bit to make the second row, but these things happen and in any case I am confident for tomorrow’s race because we have the potential to do well.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team # 04) – 1’47.089 (13th)
“It was a tough day today. This morning I couldn’t find a good feeling with my bike, which prevented me from getting into the top 10 and made things very difficult. However we did a really good job in FP4, and made a lot of progress. In Q1, after my first run with a hard tyre, I went out with softer rubber and lapped in 1’47.089, a time that would have put me onto row 2 if I had done it in Q2, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to go through to the next round. No excuses: I take full responsibility but basically we are missing a full session of practice: yesterday I wasn’t able to work the way I wanted because of my neck problem. I’m sorry that for just a fraction of a second we are right behind on the grid on row 5, but if we analyze FP4 and Q1 we’ve got the pace to stay with the front guys.”