MotoGP rookie Andrea Dovizioso may not regard Phillip Island as one of his favourite circuits, but the young Italian delivered a highly impressive performance during a rain-interrupted opening day down under.

The JiR Team Scot rider was fourth fastest in the dry, then dominated much of this afternoon's soaking wet second session - before being bumped down to second place by Repsol Honda's Nicky Hayden in the closing minutes.

"Today's was a good result, with us immediately going fast in the wet, with a steady pace that left me in first place in the standings until I returned to the pit-box at the end of the session," said Andrea. "We used data that we acquired during the Winter test before the season started, where we spent an hour in the rain and this proved to be a good starting point for us.

"Even in the dry we went well, but we are still aiming to improve. The times we did today are similar to those made in the test, but the weather conditions were better, with higher temperatures, but today was cooler.

"In the wet, we tried some new tyres from Michelin, which worked very well. Phillip Island is a track where speed counts, with the bike spending time in some long curves with little throttle movement to use up before full throttle. These are characteristics which our bike is handling well," the Italian revealed.

Team technical coordinator Gianni Berti revealed that Dovizioso had tried new front forks on Friday.

"This morning we started the practice session with the dry track and we started to set up a base set-up that has always yielded good results and allowed us to do a good job quickly," he said. "We are pleased with the new front forks and if tomorrow we are still in optimal conditions we will continue with the development of these. With the wet conditions we are ready to do very well indeed, even in the race."

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