Cal Crutchlow is predicting a Ducati victory at the Italian MotoGP at Mugello on Sunday.
The British rider was sixth fastest in FP2 on Friday on the CWM LCR Honda with a lap in 1m 48.124s, which left him 0.645s behind pacesetter Andrea Dovizioso on the factory GP15.
Crutchlow, though, believes the Ducati has a big advantage over the other factory machines at the Italian track and is tipping Dovizioso to clinch the top spot this weekend.
“The Ducati has such an advantage here that I honestly believe that one of them will win – Dovi more than [Andrea] Iannone; Iannone can practice, he can qualify, but he's not as fit as Dovi.
“I honestly believe they have done a fantastic job; I went to Gigi [Dall'Igna] last night and told them they need to slow down!
“They always bring a rocketship here and they are really strong and it's nice to see it and I think they could win the race,” he added.
“Valentino [Rossi] could qualify 20th and you'd have to believe he'd be on the podium! But I hope I'm on the podium.”
Crutchlow was pleased with his own performance on the RC213V on Friday but is seeking a big improvement through the first sector at Mugello on Saturday.
“I was quite pleased: we did a very, very good lap time with 27 laps on the tyre in the afternoon, but the problem came when we put the new ones on at the end as we didn't go much quicker,” he said.
“We definitely need to improve, but I think I know the areas where I want to improve – in the first sector we're losing a lot of time, but the rest is not too bad.
“We've had a good start to the year, we had a podium in Argentina and a fourth in Jerez. We had problems in some of the other races, but I'm quite happy and the package is working well,” Crutchlow added.
“I'm gaining experience with the bike all the time, it's quite a difficult bike to ride – you have to change your riding style a lot and it's very different to what I'm used to.
“But I'm enjoying it a lot, learning all the time and the team are doing a good job.”