By Stephen English
Andrea Dovizioso was once again the fastest Ducati in qualifying at Aragon, but the Italian is not confident of a strong result tomorrow due to the issues that Ducati have with tyre life.
Having qualified ninth on the grid, and almost 1.5s slower than Marc Marquez, Dovizioso admitted that he is expecting one of the more difficult races of the season for the Ducati team.
"Tomorrow will be a difficult race for all the riders because the drop in rear grip is very big; probably the biggest drop off of the whole championship," said Dovizioso. "It will be a hard race because it will be quite difficult to manage the rear tyre. For us our limit is the turn-in so when the grip drops it makes it more difficult for us to make a good lap time."
But Dovizioso was at least satisfied with his efforts in qualifying where once again he felt that he got the maximum from the bike.
"When I used the new tyre in qualifying the lap time was quite good and I'm happy that I made the lap time but the gap to pole position is the same as at the other tracks. I'm happy with the lap because I made the time on my own and it's always important how you make the time. Sometimes you can follow the riders and make a better lap time but when you're alone it's more important."
Tomorrow's 23 lap race is expected to be especially difficult for Ducati since they usually struggle to maintain tyre life and also have also major issues with edge grip on longer runs.
"I'm worried that this race the drop off in grip will be bigger because the turn in is more important here than at other tracks and when the grips drops we are not so strong to be able to pick the bike up and we can't use the maximum lean angle because our turn in isn't good," said Dovi. "But anyway I'll do the maximum I can for tomorrow and at the moment the target is to try and keep with Smith because he has a good pace in qualifying. He was fast on the used tyre too so it will be difficult tomorrow but I will try and race him."