Qatar pacesetter Andrea Iannone is confident he can raise his race pace for Sunday's opening round of the MotoGP World Championship at the Losail circuit by improving the stability of his Ducati GP16.

Iannone was fastest in FP2 and FP3 on the factory Desmosedici on Friday, edging out Jorge Lorenzo by 0.137 seconds to head into Saturday at the top of the times.

The Italian rider, though, is seeking improvements with the stability of the Ducati and is certain he will be stronger for Sunday's race if his team can make some progress with the issue in FP4.

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"I want to improve the pace for the race. I have some problems on the bike and I want to improve a little the stability and the movement," Iannone said.

"If we improve, then for sure we improve the pace because the bike is more easy to ride and for sure we try."

Iannone was experiencing some problems with the rear tyre during FP3 but overall, the 26-year-old has praised the progress made by Michelin throughout the winter.

"On the back [some grip issues] because here it is another story, everything is different. Here, everything changes and for everybody it is different," he said.

"I think the strategy for the qualifying, it is possible to change. We tried to push from the beginning but in practice not so bad, but for me in FP2 it is very difficult because I change the tyre, I tried to push a lot and in the back I have problems.

"The feeling is different [with the rear tyre]. This tyre has a really good positive point, lap by lap you improve, so is it better you come back in the box and put in a new tyre [for time attack], or continue with this? This is the question at the moment but for sure we tried the best," Iannone added.

"It's good for the race for sure but after six or seven laps, sure it drops because this is normal. I am really happy with both tyres, rear and front; for me they are a little step forward.

"The Michelins during the winter improved a lot and I am really happy for this."