What a way to celebrate your 250th grand prix, by starting it from the front row. Italian factory Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso secured third on the grid today after a dramatic Qualifying which seen him pipped to the post by his teammate Andrea Iannone and fellow Italian rider Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha).
Ducatis dominated the Red Bull Ring so far
The Ducatis have dominated so far weekend ahead of the Austrian MotoGP, as expected from the recent test that took place before riders broke up for the summer break. Dovizioso and Iannone took turns at the top of the leaderboard until the final stages when Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo briefly made it to the top spot.
It looked like it was going to be a Ducati one-two as Iannone had claimed pole and Dovizioso could only manage second until Rossi completed his last flying lap of the session to knock him down a place.
Front row start for Dovizioso
Dovizioso will start from third on the grid for the Neriogiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Osterreich. It will be the first time the MotoGP class will have raced here since 1997 when Mick Doohan won aboard a Honda.
250 Grand Prix starts for the Italian
At 30 years, 4 months and 21 days old, Dovizioso becomes the youngest ever rider to have started 250 grand prix.
The start of the season has been difficult for the Italian, but his fortune seemed to change when his contract with Ducati renewed and his confidence appeared to grow. It also helps that no one has crashed into him lately.
Dovizioso disappointed he missed out on pole
After qualifying, Dovizioso spoke of how he was “not surprised by the result”, as he feels that “Iannone is very strong in qualifying”. Dovizioso was the fastest man out there during FP2 and FP4 and when it came to qualifying he said, “We tried to get pole but I couldn’t.”
Dovizioso admitted that he “didn’t do a perfect lap”, although he did say, “I did a good lap time but not perfect.” He was still happy with starting from third and mentioned “the front row is important for the race”.
Analysing the meeting at the Red Bull Ring so far the Italian said he was “so happy about the weekend until now” however he remained positive saying “our pace for the race is really good.”
Not knowing how things will turn out in the first race in nineteen years he said, “We’ll see tomorrow who worked in the best way for the whole 28 laps.”