MotoGP's first race in Argentina since 1999 will be a 'strange one' according to Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso.

The Italian believes the low grip, high tyre wear characteristics of the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit means there could be plenty of position changes in the closing stages - just as in Texas two weeks ago, when the Italian snatched Ducati's first rostrum since 2012.

"I think it will be a very strange race tomorrow because the tyre consumption is very strange. It looks like at this moment we can fight for fifth place but before the race in Austin the target was sixth and we arrived on the podium so anything is possible!" he said.

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With Ducati currently enjoying the Open class concessions, including one grade of softer rear tyre, it nonetheless faces a 'penalty' at high tyre wear circuits since it does not have access to the hardest compound of rubber used by the rival Factory Yamaha and Honda riders.

However Dovizioso is confident that his Desmosedici can now maintain a decent pace with the medium compound rear.

"Still this morning we had a big, big problem [with tyre life] and our lap time drop was two seconds in four laps. But I'm so happy with the work of my team because we improved the situation a lot in final practice and qualifying," he explained. "Now we are able to keep a similar lap time to our competitors, which is so important.

"This afternoon I was able to lower my pace by almost two seconds, and so now I can get a relaxing night's sleep! I did a really good lap in qualifying, and when you do this the feelings are always great.

"Managing the tyres in the race will be very complicated; when you go to a new circuit, with a dirty track surface and no rubber, there are always these problems. I am sure that tomorrow in the race, as well as speed, the difference will be made by those who can ride smoothly and not aggressively."

With Dovizioso's team-mate Cal Crutchlow missing the event due to injury, test rider Michele Pirro qualified the Englishman's bike in a lowly 19th.

"I am pretty disappointed because I was not able to find a good feeling with my Desmosedici GP14," said Pirro. "I don't exactly know why, but I struggled a lot more than expected. This is in no way the position we should be with this bike, so now me and my engineers will try and find a solution for me to run a decent race tomorrow and repay my team for all the work they've done in these days."