Andrea Dovizioso believes he is 'very close' to a podium challenge after qualifying fourth for the Catalan round of the 2015 MotoGP series in Montmel?.

The Ducati man complained of a lack of grip on an unusually subdued Friday but shot to fourth place and the front of the second row in Saturday's 15-minute qualifying shootout.

What's more, Dovizioso's fastest time in FP4 placed him fifth fastest and although he found it difficult to be consistent as problems with stability persisted, the Italian believes he will be present in the fight for the lower podium places.

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"The lap time is very fast for everybody but the feeling is like there is no grip," said Dovizioso, third in the world championship. "We improve a little bit when compared to yesterday and we have to be happy about that. We are not fast like in some other tracks but we're very close to fight for the podium I think. The lap time in qualifying was very fast.

"I didn't make a really perfect lap but it was a good time. In FP4 we can see the pace of everybody. We are quite fast but it is not easy to be consistent. I think everybody is faster that last year. I mean the lap times are much faster if we note the pace. It's difficult to keep that time.

"I believe some riders are really competitive in practice but not in the race. In the race we can understand who it is. Anyway, I'm happy with how we work today. We still miss some things about the stability, to be constant in the race. But we are very close to the podium."

Asked whether he was surprised by Suzuki's pace, Dovizioso admitted he hadn't expected both Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vi?ales to make 'a little jump.'

"I didn't expect that lap time from them so they made a little jump. Their riders are really fast and the speed in sector four, they are unbelievable. It's not easy to manage that.

"Compared to everybody in T3 and T4 we use too much because you can't go in the race with big gaps in some sectors because it's difficult to be consistent for 25 laps. We are very close. We have to make a good start. The straight is long so we can profit."