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MotoGP Valencia: Iannone, Dovi had higher expectations

'We're a bit off the pace of the quickest riders and now we have to improve something to try and do the race with the others tomorrow' - Andrea Iannone.
Ducati pair Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso will launch their challenges from row three of the grid after qualifying seventh and ninth respectively at Valencia.

Iannone had topped the times in FP3 at the Ricardo Tormo circuit but his best lap of 1m 31.056s was only good enough for the third row in Q2 as the Italian admitted he 'struggled a lot' in the afternoon.

“For some aspects it was a positive day, with me setting quickest time in FP3, but then we didn't exactly do the best qualifying session of the season,” Iannone said.

“In the afternoon we struggled quite a lot and I was not able to improve my lap time. We're a bit off the pace of the quickest riders and now we have to improve something to try and do the race with the others tomorrow. For sure, we'll make every effort to do so.”

Dovizioso, who also adopted a three-exit strategy and posted his fastest lap of 1m 31.245s on his third run, says his spill in FP4 played on his mind in Q2 and he was unable to push to the maximum.

“Unfortunately my crash in FP4 bothered me a bit and in fact I was unable to push hard in qualifying,” said Dovizioso.

“I don't have a great feeling with my bike and when the time came I was unable to be smooth and quick, especially in the middle of the corner, something that is essential for a good time.

“With a good start tomorrow we can gain some vital positions, even though we'll probably have to fight for the whole race.”

Ducati's test rider Michele Pirro narrowly missed out on progressing to Q2 after finishing third fastest in Q1 and starts on row four, moving up one place due to Valentino Rossi's grid penalty.

Pirro, who lapped in 1m 31.780s, was unhappy with his time and is eager to make amends in his third and final race this season as a wild card entry.

“I am not very happy with my result today, mainly because I didn't ride as well as I would have liked, and I was only able to take my GP15 to the limit in the afternoon,” said the Italian.

“In the end in Q1 I rode quite well but it wasn't enough for me to go through into Q2. In any case I'm starting from row 4 and I hope to do another small step forward tomorrow in the warm-up in order to improve my pace and be able to fight with the other Ducati riders.”



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