Andrea Dovizioso claimed second on the grid for Sunday's Austrian MotoGP despite picking a medium, rather than soft, rear tyre for the Q2 pole position shootout.

The Italian explained the warmer Saturday weather prompted what might seem to be an irrational choice.

"I’m very happy. It was very difficult to take this tyre decision in qualifying. Nobody was going with the medium spec, but the conditions were strange today," said the double 2017 race winner.

"This morning and this afternoon our speed on used soft tyres from yesterday wasn’t as good as we expected, because of the different temperature. We struggled.

"But after qualifying I can confirm we can be much faster with a different [medium] tyre, like our competitors used for most of the day. I think that is the speed for tomorrow, when the temperature should be a bit warmer.

"Now I am not worried about the speed because we confirmed we are competitive enough to fight at the front tomorrow. I am worried about the right [tyre] decision, because it will make a big effect.

"It is very difficult because five, six, seven degrees’ difference sometimes can make a big difference, like today."

Dovizioso is using the new Ducati 'downforce' fairing for the first time in a grand prix weekend.

"In this track it worked very well. I didn’t make a comparison so I didn’t know exactly in the details positive and negative. But I think we can confirm the engineers work very well about the target we wanted to achieve.

"Unfortunately, I never follow a really fast rider during the weekend, so I don't know the acceleration, the braking, compared to Marc or Yamaha… I will understand during the race!"

Dovizioso goes into Sunday's race holding third in the world championship, 21 points from pole sitter Marc Marquez.

The Italian's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will complete the front row in third, at a race where the Desmosedici claimed a one-two finish with Andrea Iannone and Dovizioso one year ago.


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