MotoGP world championship leader Andrea Dovizioso admits he was surprised to qualify second fastest at Misano, although the Italian believes he is poised to fight for his third win in a row.

Dovizioso leads Marc Marquez by nine points after sealing back-to-back wins in Austria and at Silverstone and although he has never managed to finish on the podium at Misano, it seems the title pacesetter has a solid chance of reversing that trend in Sunday’s race.

“It’s always nice to make a pole position but it’s not something I’m looking for. I was surprised to make second and I’m really happy because before the qualifying I didn’t feel really good, but when I start with the new tyre, soft for the qualifying, I felt good again,” said Dovizioso, who was 0.162s behind Maverick Vinales in Q2 after a lap in 1m 32.601s.

“Our goal was to be on the first two rows and we did something better, so I’m really happy about that. They have a really good pace for the race but we are there, we can fight and for sure the conditions tomorrow, maybe, will be different than today, so everybody has to adapt to a new situation.

“It’s not easy to know very well the competitiveness of everybody in the race tomorrow because we have a different approach in the weekend,” Dovizioso added.

“Marc is always faster in practice, Maverick [Vinales] sometimes yes, sometimes no and trying to get the feeling step by step, so it is not so easy to understand just for the practice the real pace of everybody.

“And for sure the conditions will be different tomorrow – colder, windy and we have to see if it will be dry or wet. I think it will be more who is ready for the new conditions. Everybody will try not to make a mistake, that is the key of this championship, but apart from that we have to take the maximum of the weekend.”

Dovizioso has opted to use the ‘older’ Ducati fairing at Misano but says the new downforce version also performed well.

“At this track I feel the new fairing worked well and I think we can be fast on both, but it’s just about good and negative things. I think I’m quite good to use the best potential of the standard fairing and we decide to work for that,” he explained.

“I followed some Ducatis with the new fairing and in some places they are faster, but I’m faster in other places. I believe we take the right decision and this is confirmed.”

However, Dovizioso stressed that he has not made any decision over which fairing he will use for the rest of the season, stating that he will decide on a ‘race by race’ basis.

“We will decide race by race, day by day. For sure this is a track where normally there is a lot of wheelie and the braking is really important and there is also fast corners, but in the test we did a comparison and like I say before, there are positive things and negative things on both fairings.”

Ducati test rider Michele Pirro, entered as a wildcard at Misano, has been working closely with Dovizioso’s team-mate Jorge Lorenzo this season and Dovi feels Pirro’s assistance has proven invaluable.

“His work about test rider is amazing because he is able to make a similar lap time, so we are very lucky to be in this condition,” he said.

“I have a good relationship with him and we respect each other, but he is working a lot with Jorge, who is in a completely new situation. Jorge requested this and I have no problem with that and Ducati wanted to create this situation. I I think it was a good decision for them, but for me not so much.”


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