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23 days ago
By motogp.com

Dovizioso: “This afternoon was not a matter of speed”

A level head proved to be the difference between pole and the gravel trap for Andrea Dovizioso in Assen as he takes Ducati to the top.

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Highlights: Dovizioso blasts to pole in tricky conditions

In 2009 at the British GP Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) took his so far only MotoGP™ World Championship victory. This cemented his reputation as a wet weather specialist, his Qualifying performance in Assen only adding to said reputation. Qualifying wasn’t fully wet, a dry line emerging towards the end of the session and calling for a thoughtful, rather than aggressive, approach. He and his team had originally decided to use only one set of tyres, but a split second decision saw the Italian return to the pits for a last minute swap. It proved an excellent decision as he produced a 1’45.246 on his final lap, grabbing him pole position by 0.715s.

"I had already identified the corners where I could push like in the dry, while in the others I have followed in Rossi's wake" Andrea Dovizioso

This will be Dovizioso’s third visit to pole position since joining the Ducati Team, his most recent pole was back in Qatar when the 2015 season began and the GP15 made everyone notice Ducati again. In that race he went on to take second place, matching his best finish while on a Desmosedici. Weather remains unpredictable for Assen’s first Sunday race, tyre choice will be important but complicated with the introduction of intermediates in 2016. In 2014 Dovizioso was second to Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) at the Dutch GP held in very tricky conditions with a number of last minute tyre changes.

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Dovizioso's first pole of 2016

Andrea Dovizioso: “I am very happy with the work we have done. This morning in the dry we were the fastest, with a good pace, but this afternoon was not a matter of speed in the wet but you needed to be ready to analyze the situation, which changed continuously. We had decided on a strategy with only one exit, because it looked like the track was drying, after two laps I saw that there was a dry line although it was still drizzling, I decided to stop to fit a new wet rear, although this had not been agreed with the team. Back on track I was also lucky to tag on to Rossi: I had already identified the corners where I could push like in the dry, while in the others I have followed in his wake. As always it will be difficult to fight with the leading group, but tomorrow we will try.”