Jorge Lorenzo will start Ducati's home Misano MotoGP from fifth on the grid, but feels he is capable of matching the pace of front row qualifiers Maverick Vinales, Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez 'for all the race'.

The Spaniard's chances were boosted by a set-up breakthrough that instantly cut half-a-second from his lap time, while the warmer afternoon conditions also brought much needed grip.

"In each practice we were getting closer and closer, reducing the gap," Lorenzo explained. "Especially in FP4, we tried some settings that gave me much more confidence. Suddenly when I tried these settings I improved by half-a-second from, '34.0 to '33.5, so I was really happy about that.

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"This gave me the confidence to push also in the qualifying. I made the lap time in qualifying with the medium rear, so that is a good sign in case of a dry race. So if I make a good start and don't lose the same distance that I lost in Silverstone I can be there with the front group for all the race.

"For sure it will not be easy and the level is high and Marquez, Vinales and Dovizioso have a good pace but I don’t see myself much worse than them."

However, after two days of dry practice and qualifying, wet weather is forecast for Sunday. Lorenzo performed well in such conditions at Brno, but admits the pressure will be on for riders to find a quick set-up.

"The bike in general is very good in the rain. In more or less al wet conditions - more water, less water - it's very good," he said. "We have a good base in the rain and the fact they put a new asphalt in 2015 also will help a little bit with grip.

"But for sure it will be a little bit uncomfortable for the riders to adapt quickly to a change in conditions tomorrow. And in the case of a flag-to-flag, race it will be interesting to try the new rules. To see how it works."

Lorenzo lapped 0.353s from pole man Maverick Vinales (Yamaha), with title leader and top GP17 rider Dovizioso opting to stick with the standard, wingless, fairing on his way to second on the grid. Might Lorenzo also consider changing back?

"Not tomorrow, because Misano does not have a long straight and for Dovi, for his riding style, he doesn't feel so much the benefit of the new fairing as I do," Lorenzo responded. "I am the rider that felt more benefit. Also Petrucci can feel more benefit than negatives, but Dovi prefers to stay with the standard.

"In Aragon, where we have the long straight, probably it would not be a bad idea to try the standard fairing again…"

Lorenzo finished 3.5s from Dovizioso last time out at Silverstone, his closest victory margin of the season. The triple MotoGP champion's highest finish for Ducati is third at Jerez, in May.

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So with the Ducati he can be fast in the rain. He was looking good before he crashed.