Andrea Dovizioso was fifth quickest at the end of day one at the Argentina MotoGP, but the Ducati rider is concerned about tyre life.

The Italian starts the third round with a pair of second places to his credit and is just one point away from title leader Valentino Rossi. Although behind team-mate Andrea Iannone on the Friday timesheets, Dovizioso set more sub 1m 40s laps than any other rider (three).

But while the Ducatis and Suzuki's practice leader Aleix Espargaro compete with the softer Open class tyre rules, this weekend could be a rare occasion when the hardest rear - available only to the factory class Hondas and Yamahas - is of real benefit.

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That's because the dirty Termas de Rio Hondo circuit is again proving punishing on tyres, the rear rubber lasting only a handful of laps.

"We have to try and find a race pace that allows us to go fast without a drop in performance after a few laps," Dovizioso confirmed. "Here it's really difficult because this track is very slippery, but we are working to improve this aspect."

He added: "The track conditions are not how they will be on Sunday. But anyway we have to work with what we have and this afternoon we were able to improve.

"We made a good lap time and started to work with the electronics and also try two different set-ups. I'm happy about the speed. We are not so far. The main thing is to improve the consistency because we spin too much.

Like team-mate Iannone, Dovizioso also experimented with two different set-ups.

"The two bikes have a different set-up to try to improve the braking. We improved the first part of braking but not the last part, where it was a little bit worse," he said. "It was interesting because we found something in the first part of braking, but we have to understand if we can come back to the good point of the old set-up."