Andrea Dovizioso said his lap time was an unexpected surprise as the Ducati rider clocked the eighth fastest time at Sepang.

Dovizioso will start from row three in tomorrow's Malaysian MotoGP and the Italian star said he was 'really happy' with his qualifying pace.

His quickest time of 2m 01.635s put him 0.329s behind Yamaha Tech 3's Bradley Smith on the satellite M1 in seventh.

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"To make a lap time like this, I am really happy because I didn't expect his lap time," said Dovizioso.

"The pace in the race will be very difficult tomorrow. Where the grip is low will be worse for us."

Dovizioso was almost caught out by the damp conditions at turn six following a shower prior to the beginning of Q2.

"It was really dangerous and I almost crashed [at corner six] on the out-lap the first time because it was almost impossible to see where it was wet.

"I changed direction and lost the rear and was lucky to stay on the track," he said.

"It was quite difficult and I knew the track would dry quite quickly but we had just 15 minutes. On that last lap it was really on the limit to push 100 per cent, but I didn't want to take all the risks in that corner."