Andrea Dovizioso wasn't quite able to match his performance from the Qatar test in FP1 at Losail on Thursday night, but the Ducati rider isn't reading too much into his position just yet.

Dovizioso was seventh fastest on the GP15 machine with a best time of 1m 55.980s as he finished 0.041s behind Pramac Racing's Danilo Petrucci, who was the leading Ducati rider in FP1 on the GP14.1, who posted his fastest time using the soft rear option Bridgestone tyre.

Neither Dovizioso nor his team-mate Andrea Iannone, who was tenth fastest, availed of the extra soft rear tyre option and the Italian was adopting a measured assessment of his opening night performance at the spectacular desert venue.

"I didn't see a worse condition [on track] but the lap time was worse for everybody except the Honda riders. But I'm not worried about lap times," Dovizioso said.

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"Sure, we weren't fast like in the test but now we are in a position where we want to compare the set-up of the bike and we still have two more practices to work and to find the base. Still I'm not worried but we have to improve a little bit tomorrow.

"It's a work in progress [with the harder tyre] and there is no need to use two tyres now; it's more important to compare the set-up to understand what is the best," he added.

"[We don't need] a big step, it is small things and in the braking we need to be better and I don't think it's enough to stay in front. Also the rear, everybody is struggling with the grip because of the drop of the rear tyre is high for everybody so if you work in a better way in that side it will make a difference in the race. The spin is easier to make a lap time but not for 22 laps."

Dovizioso also said it was too early in proceedings in Qatar to judge whether or not he would have the pace to match the factory Yamahas of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, with the factory Hondas seemingly a cut above at the Losail circuit thus far.

"It's too early to speak about that [pace to match Yamaha riders] and I think you have to wait until tomorrow after second practice to understand the pace, because the pace in how you work during the week and in the race is different," said Dovizioso.

"In the weekend you can understand more the reality of the pace of your competitors and it's too early to understand that because the first practice is always strange."