Andrea Dovizioso described his seventh place result in Qatar as 'the best we could have hoped for' despite a stunning qualifying display by the Italian at Losail.
Dovizioso had raised expectations ahead of the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship as he secured a second row start on the Desmosedici GP13 after setting the fourth fastest time in the decisive qualifying shootout.
He was battling for third in the early stages of the race but eventually dropped down the order to finish behind Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista and one place ahead of team-mate Nicky Hayden under the floodlights in Qatar.
“Before coming here, this is about the best result we could have hoped for,” he said.
“It's true that we had hoped to do better following the exceptional qualifying session, but this is the reality.
“Races are different than practice, and I knew that. In fact, I was really curious to see how I'd go in the race.
“Doing a race weekend is an important experience, so we go on from here.”
Although Dovizioso is pleased to have bettered the Ducati's times at Losail from 2012, he admits that he leaves Qatar with a less than sunny disposition.
“We knew there were limits, but in my opinion we couldn't have done any better.
“We improved on the times from last year, so that's positive,” he said.
“Still, of course we always want to do better, so we don't go home happy.”
Bernhard Gobmeier, Ducati Corse general manager, agreed that the results achieved by Dovi and Hayden were as good as could be expected 'under the current circumstances'.
“We're happy that all four Ducati riders finished the race without any specific issues, and the result was as good as we could have expected in the current circumstances,” he said.
“With the progress made over the testing season, we were able to improve our speed, but nevertheless, we don't yet have the consistency to run at the front, especially toward the end.
'We're looking forward to the next races and the tests, where we'll have some new things to try out.”