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Dovizioso fifth on opening night in Qatar

'I could have been even better if I hadn't come across traffic' - Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso believes he could have finished higher up the order in Qatar than his impressive fifth place on the factory Desmosedici after encountering slower traffic on a fast lap.

The Italian MotoGP star, who joined Nicky Hayden in the team for 2013 from the Tech 3 Yamaha outfit, lapped in 1m 57.538s to leave himself 0.853s behind the best time of FP1 set by Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and just 0.262s adrift of Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez in fourth.

Dovizioso said: “I'm really pleased with the lap time, especially because I did three laps like that and I could have been even better if I hadn't come across traffic.

“Anyway, the times aren't really a reference in terms of pace, as the first session is always a bit strange here due to the sand.

“It's definitely possible to improve,” he added.

“The riders ahead of me used soft tyres, and I was the only one to use the hard front. It could be a choice for the race. Tomorrow there are two important sessions in which we can work on our pace.

“Anyway the start and the feeling was good.”

His team-mate, Hayden, was 10th fastest - 1.2s down on Lorenzo - with the American confident of a solid start to the new season under the floodlights in Qatar on Sunday if he can make some gains at specific sections of the Losail circuit that were causing the 2006 world champion problems on the first night.

“It's certainly good to get the season started. I was having a lot of trouble in my first exit, and I'm not sure what the problem was,” he said.

“When we switched to my other bike with different tyres, the feeling improved and I started putting in some decent laps. I was getting better as the track cleaned up, but I was losing a lot of time in the last three rights.

“If I can figure out that section and get it to wheelie less, I should be able to improve quite a bit,” added Hayden. “It's not a great start, but I think if we can improve a couple of things, we can put up a good fight here.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dovizioso, Qatar MotoGP 2013
Hayden after crash, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Miller Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl, Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Redding Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Redding Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP 2016
Petrucci, Hayden Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Petrucci, Hayden Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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some1 - Unregistered

April 05, 2013 3:02 AM

Rossi and JB can't make this bike win a race, bad riding and workmanship from them. Dovi just need a single on this bike in this season. A single win that give a hard slap on the back of Rossi head.

jjthekid46 - Unregistered

April 05, 2013 5:07 AM

Top 3 FP1 2012: Casey Stoner 1.56.474 Jorge Lorenzo 1.56.648 Nicky Hayden 1.56.924 I would hold off popping the champagne bottles already. The more grip and the faster the track gets, the further away the Ducati's end up being from the front. They are doing no better last year.

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