Dovizioso sweeps to Dutch TT pole for Ducati at Assen

© Getty Images

Andrea Dovizioso scored Ducati’s first pole position of the 2016 MotoGP season during qualifying for the Dutch TT in Assen on Saturday.

In a damp qualifying session that saw the riders try to find the driest possible line on the track, a number of big names struggled to get into the fight for pole at the front.

Honda rider Dani Pedrosa failed to make it past Q1, leaving him 15th on the grid, while defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo qualified 10th for Yamaha.

Two-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez bounced back from an early crash in Q2 to qualify fourth, having used a photographer’s scooter to return to the pits as quickly as possible after leaving his Honda bike in the gravel.

With many of his rivals by the wayside, Dovizioso was able to tame the conditions and score Ducati’s first pole of the season by seven-tenths of a second.

The Italian rider has endured a difficult start to the 2016 season, but the result marks the fourth pole position of his career in the premier class of motorcycle racing.

Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi qualified second, while Pramac rider Scott Redding scored a front-row start after finishing the session third ahead of Marquez.

This year’s Dutch TT is the first to be held on a Sunday, having traditionally been scheduled for Saturdays.