Andrea Dovizioso finished the opening day of the Valencia MotoGP season finale as the leading Ducati rider, but only ninth and 1.143s from Marc Marquez.

Having moved to the team this year Dovizioso has been plagued by handling problems and they continued to affect him at the Spanish circuit.

Speaking to the media at the end of Friday's sessions the former 125cc world champion said:

Related Articles

"Today happened like I thought that it would and the lap time is quite good because the asphalt is good and the kerbs are really flat. This afternoon was quite difficult because of the wind and everybody had to use the [new] hard rear because the soft tyre is on the limit, especially on the right, so we'll test tomorrow to understand better the tyre.

"This morning the drop is quite big [in tyre wear] here and most of the riders made their fast time at the end. On the right side you have graining so it's not good to ride on the right. The soft tyre is on the limit, it's not impossible to use but it's difficult, especially for us because we can't use the right line and we have to always exit with angle."

Dovizioso finished the day ahead of fellow Ducati riders Nicky Hayden, Andrea Iannone and Michele Pirro and with the quartet of Ducati riders separated by just 0.4s it appears that the riders extracted all that they could have from the package on the opening day.