For the second MotoGP race in succession Andrea Dovizioso has qualified his Ducati second on the grid.

But unlike at Indianapolis, where he was also helped by a Marc Marquez tow in qualifying, the Italian is confident he can maintain the pace at Brno.

Dovizioso played a starring role in the early victory battle last Sunday, but dropped to seventh as tyre wear killed his performance.

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The Ducati riders compete under the Open class rules, bringing benefits in many areas, but ruling out use of the hard rear tyre, which at Indy was the better option.

However at Brno Dovizioso is happy to race the medium compound, having again exploited the extra grip from the soft in qualifying.

"From Free Practice 1 we've been fast," he declared. "Our pace with the medium rear tyre is really good in every session. I'm a little bit surprised. I didn't expect to be this competitive at this track, but our bike has improved a little bit.

"In the qualifying I did a really good lap time with the soft tyre but I'm happy about the pace for the race. Our target at the moment is to reduce the gap to fastest riders. I think we have the possibility to do that tomorrow.

"The drop was too big at Indy but I think we are in a better situation here. We would like to stay at the front but we have to consider our gap at the end of the race. At Indy it was 20 seconds, we have to try to reduce that gap."

Asked if he would actually refer to have the same tyre options as the Factory class Honda and Yamaha riders, Dovizioso replied:

"I don't know. Here the medium tyre here works really good and I was really fast with that tyre. And having the soft tyre for qualifying is not bad. Maybe now it is still better to use these tyres. I can't be sure because we can't try the hard tyre."

This time it was future team-mate Andrea Iannone who made the most of a tow from eventual pole sitter Marquez to claim third on the grid.

Dovizioso's present team-mate Cal Crutchlow, on pole for Tech 3 Yamaha last season, will start from eleventh. The Englishman was only 0.544s slower than Marquez.

"I'm happy enough with today. I know the position is not the best but the lap time was respectable for where we've been all weekend. So to be half-a-second off pole position is not too bad!

"In qualifying I had a problem with my first tyre and that made me have no confidence for half-a-lap with the second one. Despite this I gained 1.5 seconds in one lap and maybe could have gone a bit faster, but in any case I'm confident enough for the race now."

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well yes...and a tow by MM that made the difference.