New Ducati signing Andrea Dovizioso admits he was somewhat surprised to be leaving Jerez with a fastest time eight tenths of a second from the top.

The Italian rider was seventh quickest overall at the final pre-season shakedown in Spain, with his fastest lap of 1m 40.322s leaving him closer to the benchmark time set by Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow than he could have hoped.

Dovi experimented further with a new fairing he had sampled for the first time on Sunday, completing 30 laps at Jerez on a day of variable weather conditions.

"Unfortunately, we didn't have much time today, so it wasn't possible to learn anything regarding the race pace," he said.

"Still, I didn't expect to leave Jerez just eight tenths from the leader.

"I'm surprised and pleased at the same time, as this helps us to realise that we're not so far from the others when we have a fresh tyre.

"The weather didn't allow us to do a race simulation, so we're not sure what to expect when the tyres are worn," added Dovizioso, who was the top Ducati rider at the test, marginally ahead of Andrea Iannone on the Pramac machine.

"These three days were important for me and for the development, even if we weren't able to do a great lap time.

"We should be able to fight for a decent grid position in Qatar, and that's important, but we're not sure about the race."

Ducati's MotoGP project leader, Paolo Ciabatti, said he was satisfied with the work completed, even though the team failed to undertake its full development programme.

"Unfortunately, the bad weather affected every test that we took part in this year, and once again here at Jerez we weren't able to complete all the work we had planned," he said.

"Still, we go home somewhat satisfied because we were able to significantly reduce the gap to the top, although we're aware that we have more hard work to do in order to make further improvements to our performance."

Ducati Corse development rider Michele Pirro clocked a best time of 1m 40.881s to leave him ninth on day three and 11th overall.



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