By Ron Lieback
2014 Motegi MotoGP Qualifying Results
Ahead of the Grand Prix of Japan, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso said his GP14 Desmosedici would be competitive at Twin Ring Motegi.
The 28-year-old Italian noted he was hard on the brakes, something needed for optimal lap times at Motegi, and the Ducati’s chassis allows for extremely hard braking. Plus, Dovi’s only pole position arrived in 2010 at Motegi when he was riding for Repsol Honda.
Dovi’s assumption proved true on Friday, where he was the fastest rider of the day by nearly a half of second. Saturday’s practice sessions began slower, but things changed drastically during the second qualifying session.
Dovi ran quickly on the softer-rear tire, but after his second pit in Q2 he put in a nearly flawless lap of 1:44.502 – a new lap record – to earn the pole position for Sunday’s 24-lap Grand Prix of Japan.
This was Dovi’s second-career pole in the premier class, and Ducati’s first since 2010 when Casey Stoner earned the pole at Valencia. This was also Ducati’s 31st pole in MotoGP.
Joining Dovi on the front row is Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi, who trailed by a mere 0.055 of second, and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who trailed by 0.253. This represents three different manufacturers on the front row.
“It’s great satisfaction to finally obtain this pole position with Ducati! We have been through some difficult times in the last year and a half, but we have constantly improved in the last few races,” Dovizioso says.
“To succeed …read more