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Andrea Dovizioso powers to a superb pole position for the Shell Malaysia Grand Prix at Sepang. Andrea Iannone qualifies sixth and starts the race from row 2

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Andrea Dovizioso powered to a superb pole position today at Sepang, at the end of a Q2 qualifying session held on a wet track surface. The Italian rider set an excellent time of 2’11.511 on his first flying lap of the session, using a soft rear rain tyre. On returning to the box Dovizioso decided to switch to a hard rain tyre and went out again, managing to further improve his time on his final lap to end up with 2’11.485. Today’s pole was the fifth in Dovizioso’s MotoGP career, the second this year after Assen, and Ducati’s thirty-sixth in MotoGP.

Andrea Iannone will start from the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s race after qualifying in sixth place in Q2. The Italian, returning to the track after his incident at Misano, set a quickest time of 2’12.598 on his last lap of the session.

In this morning’s FP3 held on a dry track, both Ducati Team riders managed to place inside the top 10 and as a result went through directly into the afternoon’s Q2 session. Iannone set sixth quickest time in 2’00.395 while Andrea Dovizioso finished in eighth with a time of 2’00.723. The two Ducati Team men then went out for the decisive qualifying session after completing the thirty minutes of FP4 in the early afternoon, in which Dovizioso was fifth and Iannone twelfth.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2’11.485 (1st)
“It was a really strange qualifying session, I reckon I was the only one to fit a soft rear tyre on the first run, and I wasn’t sure that I had made the right choice. Instead our strategy worked well because we were able to immediately set the best time, on my first lap, without even pushing that hard. Then I stopped to try the hard tyre and I didn’t think I could improve. Instead I managed to do so and I am really happy because I even think that with an extra lap I could have gone even faster.”

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 2’12.598 (6th)
“Today was a bit more complicated than yesterday and this morning I struggled a lot to improve my times and go quicker. In the afternoon, on the wet track, we were probably missing some information, such as using the harder tyre for more laps to make the most of its performance, because yesterday I didn’t take part in FP2 with the rain tyres. All in all however I am pleased I managed to qualify on row 2 with sixth quickest time, and I reckon I did a pretty good job, especially with these track conditions and in view of the fact that I am back after a gap of four races. Tomorrow we’ll see how it goes, for sure we don’t know what will happen.”