By Stephen English

An early race mistake left Andrea Dovizioso stuck in no man's land at the Malaysian MotoGP.

Having made a strong start and battling with Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow the Italian had to settle for a lonely eighth place finish.

Related Articles

"It was a very difficult race," said the Ducati rider. "I made a good start and tried to follow Smith but I made a mistake at turn 14 trying to pass him. You have to brake on angle and I lost the front. I tried to stay on the track but lost the rear so I had to pick up the bike but I was on the asphalt but it was very dirty and I almost crashed. It took me six corners to get the right side of the rear tyre clean afterwards."

Like the rest of the field Dovizioso struggled with tyre wear problems and the significant drop off in grip of the rear tyre in the hot conditions. When a greasy track surface, due to the higher than expected track temperature, is taken into account it made for a very difficult race for Dovizioso.

After his near miss in the early stages Dovizioso settled into position behind fellow Ducati riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Iannone, both of whom retired.

"I had quite a big drop so I don't know if they [Hayden and Iannone] had continued the race what sort of pace they could have kept. In these conditions it is difficult for us so the gap [to the front] was bigger.

"On this track nobody had grip so you need to use the bike differently. You need to make the speed in the middle of the corner and pick up the bike and make acceleration. With our bike we have to open the throttle on angle because the bike doesn't turn in so we're waiting and waiting and opening the throttle [gently]."