2016 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Results | Ducati’s Dovizioso Claims Wet Pole

2016 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Results | Ducati's Dovizioso Claims Wet Pole
Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso

2016 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Results

2016 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Results | Ducati's Dovizioso Claims Wet Pole
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso

Due to wet conditions during Saturday’s qualifying for round eight of the 2016 MotoGP Championship at the TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands, lap times were nearly 12 seconds slower.

But one rider was able to capitalize on these wet conditions – the first wet qualifying session for the new-to-2016-MotoGP Michelin tires – Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso. Amid many crashes, the Italian “Desmo Dovi” GP16 pilot was able to secure his fourth MotoGP pole position with a lap time of 1:45.246 around the 2.82-mile “Cathedral” of speed containing 18 corners.

Dovi, who earned his third pole with Ducati, his last aboard the Duck arriving at the season opener in Qatar in 2015, earned the top  quaifying position by 0.715 of a second ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi, who has earned seven premier-class wins at Assen, including last year’s final-corner victory over Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.

Yamaha's Rossi at Assen MotoGP Qualifying 2016
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi

Earning the final podium position was yet another Ducati – the Octo Pramac Yakhnich Desmosedici piloted by Scott Redding; the Brit – the top-qualifying Independent Team Rider – finished 1.066 behind Dovizioso.

“I am very happy with the job we have done in these four sessions. This morning in the dry we were quickest, with a good pace, but this afternoon it wasn’t so much a question of pace in the wet, but more of being ready to analyze the situation, which was constantly changing,” Dovizioso says.

“We had opted for a one-run strategy, because it didn’t look like the track was drying out, but after two laps I saw that a few dry lines were forming and, even though it was still raining a bit, I decided to stop to fit a new rear rain tire, despite the fact that we hadn’t agreed on this with the team.

“On returning to the track I was also lucky to tuck in behind Rossi: I had already identified the corners where I could push like on the dry track, while in the others I just followed him. As always it’s going to be tough to fight with the leading group, but tomorrow we’ll give it a go.”

Ducati's Yonny Hernandez at Assen MotoGP Qualifying 2016
Ducati’s Yonny Hernandez

The current MotoGP points leader, two-time MotoGP Champion Marquez, who leads Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo by 22 points, qualified on top of the second row.

He finished Saturday’s Q2 session 1.184 of second behind Dovi, and will be joined on row two by LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati’s Yonny Hernandez. This was the Colombian’s first top-10 qualifying position since the 2015 German MotoGP.

Rounding out the top 10 were Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) and Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich).

Though Iannone qualified ninth – and led Friday practice – he must start from the rear of the grid due to taking out Lorenzo during a crash at Catalunya MotoGP two weeks ago.

As for Lorenzo, he qualified 11th, followed by future Rossi teammate Maverick Vinales (Team Ecstar Suzuki).

Rain is not forecasted for Sunday’s 26-lap MotoGP, so anything can happen. Assen MotoGP TV coverage begins at 7:35 a.m. EST, and round eight of 18 will be covered live on beIN.

2016 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Results

1 Andrea Dovizioso 01’45.246
2 Valentino Rossi 01’45.961
3 Scott Redding 01’46.312
4 Marc Marquez 01’46.430
5 Cal Crutchlow 01’46.568
6 Yonny Hernandez 01’46.828
7 Pol Espargaro 01’46.997
8 Aleix Espargaro 01’47.118
9 Andrea Iannone 01’47.567
10 Danilo Petrucci 01’47.601
11 Jorge Lorenzo 01’47.897
12 Maverick Viñales 01’48.415
13 Hector Barbera 01’48.830
14 Bradley Smith 01’48.909
15 Alvaro Bautista 01’49.163
16 Daniel Pedrosa 01’49.364
17 Eugene Laverty 01’49.678
18 Stefan Bradl 01’49.685
19 Jack Miller 01’49.775
20 Tito Rabat 01’49.779
21 Michele Pirro 01’50.204