Andrea Dovizioso is MotoGP's best hope of extending a record-breaking run of different race winners to nine, in as many races, at Aragon on Sunday.

"Thank you for the pressure! Everybody puts the pressure about that!" smiled Dovizioso, after qualifying his Ducati in fourth place.

"We have to be realistic, in the dry tomorrow we don't have a chance to fight for victory. You never know and you have to stay positive and try your best, but the pace of Marc [Marquez] is in a different world.

"For me it is important to be the ninth different winner - it is not so important to be the ninth consecutive winner! It's important to try to get that result sometime this year."

Dovizioso's best qualifying lap time was 0.7s behind Honda's world championship leader Marquez, who has been fastest in all one of his track sessions this weekend.

However the italian is confident of battling for best of the rest after setting an impressive pace on old tyres in final practice.

"I am happy with the work we did today because we were able to make big improvements in my feeling with the bike," Dovizioso said. "We had a really good pace in FP4 because I had a used tyre from the morning and in the last lap I did my best lap, which is always very important to do.

"So I think we have a good pace. Not a pace like the Honda, but after we are there with a big group so everything can happen. The drop of the rear tyre is very high for everybody so just the race will show the reality.

"I'm happy with fourth position on the grid because it is very important here to start in the first or second row. I did almost a first row; in the last corner I have to brake early because with Espargaro it was very close. But I'm happy about the result."

After Dani Pedrosa's victory in Misano, Dovizioso is the only MotoGP race winner on the grid without a victory in 2016.

Michele Pirro, replacing the injured Andrea Iannone, qualified in 17th.

By Peter McLaren


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