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Iannone powers to superb pole position at Zeltweg: front row also for Dovizioso, third in qualifying, while Pirro starts from row 6

Ducati Team_081316

Andrea Iannone powered his way to a superb pole position today at the Red Bull Ring circuit in Zeltweg. The Ducati Team man, who had been quickest in the morning’s FP3 session, recorded his best time of 1’23.142 on the final lap of his second run in Q2.

Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso will also be on the front row for Sunday’s 28-lap race after finishing third in qualifying, just a fraction slower than Rossi. The Italian, who opted for a three-exit strategy in Q2, set a best time of 1’23.298 on his last lap.

Michele Pirro, entered as a wild-card rider, was unfortunately unable to get through the first session of qualifying. The Ducati Test Team rider was fourteenth quickest in the combined free practice standings and took part in the afternoon’s Q1, but could only record seventh quickest time which put him into seventeenth place and a row 6 start.

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’23.142 (1st)
“My pole today was a fantastic one and I did a really incredible lap. I made a mistake on my first attempt, going long at turn 3, and became a bit nervous. On my next run I did a 1’23.404, but on the final lap I pushed really hard to try and shave off a bit more and in the end I got the pole. Today I managed to ride a bit better thanks to some treatment from the Clinica Mobile who did an incredible job, seeing as my ribs are not giving me as much pain as yesterday, even though 28 laps around this track tomorrow is going to be tough! I’m so happy to start from pole position at Zeltweg because it’s my second pole in MotoGP and tomorrow I hope to be able to give some real satisfaction to our fans.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’23’.298 (3rd)
“It was a really tight qualifying session, and it’s great to be on the front row with two other Italian riders. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the pole position: I did a good lap but it wasn’t perfect. In any case the important thing today was to manage to find the best possible set-up for the 28-lap race tomorrow. We worked a lot and in my opinion we have a good chance of having a say in the outcome, even though being competitive throughout the race will be complicated, especially because some riders have made big improvements. In any case I am happy with the work we have done over the weekend, because we have been able to focus a lot on race pace, even though we have to see what will happen with the tyres, which will start to wear two-thirds of the way into the race.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 1’24’.593 (17th)
“I am very disappointed about not being able to make the best of the first qualifying session and so tomorrow I will have to start from behind. Row 6 is certainly not our position, considering how competitive the Desmosedici GP is, but now we will be working to improve the bike and get amongst the positions that we deserve tomorrow.”

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