Marc Marquez is taking the threat from Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso extremely seriously as he looks ahead to the opening race of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar.

Reigning champion Marquez will start from the front row in third place after setting a fastest time of 1m 54.437s on the Repsol Honda as he finished behind team-mate Dani Pedrosa and 0.324s down on pole man Dovizioso.

The 22-year-old, who is bidding for a third straight premier class title this year, said he wasn't surprised by the progress made by Ducati and expects Dovizioso to be fast over a full race distance on the GP15.

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"No, I'm not surprised about Ducati because already in the test they were fast with the race tyre but it's a good thing that another manufacturer has arrived and it looks like they are very competitive, not just on one lap but also with the race pace," said Marquez.

"Tomorrow we will try to fight for the victory and we will try to stay especially with Andrea because on one lap he was strong, but also the pace is good. Then with Dani [Pedrosa], he showed in the race he will do a step and also the Yamaha riders, but I feel ready so we will try to be there.

"The plan was front row because we know that here it is very hard, but always you want to improve. The important thing is that for the race pace I feel very good and I am very happy with the bike."

Marquez also isn't ruling out a challenge from Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, although he pointed out that the M1 seemed to be struggling more for rear grip.

"I was behind Lorenzo for some laps and I noticed that they are struggling for the rear grip like everybody, but especially the Yamaha is riding more with the rear wheel than us," he said.

"But I think they will be there because Lorenzo is always very fast at this track and also Valentino."