It was a day of contrasting fortunes for Andrea Dovizioso, who rescued a second row starting place from a position of peril for the German MotoGP outing at the Sachsenring.

The Italian was forced to make his way through Q1 after placing just eleventh in the morning’s highly competitive FP3 dash for a top ten place. Dovizioso did that, however, and with some style, before qualifying a strong fifth in Q2.

But what was of real interest was the Italian’s thoughts on how Sunday’s 30-lap affair will play out. With track temperatures unusually high at the Sachsenring, a great emphasis will fall on tyre consumption, he said.

The 32-year old and his GP18 have the pace to battle with the best of them in the race’s first half, but beyond then remains something of a mystery with riders forced into managing the tyres “a lot - not just a little bit like in some races.”

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“[I’m] So happy because it’s always difficult to make the second row, even more [so] at this track," said Dovizioso, the third of three Ducati GP18s in the topn five places. "Unfortunately this morning we were out of the top ten but it’s because Free Practice 3 is the first qualifying. It’s not a real practice!

“If you don’t make a perfect lap you’re out of the top ten. That is very stressful because we have a limit on the quantity of the tyres. It’s very difficult to manage this situation. I mean, working for the race and being in the top ten.

“But at the end we worked in the right way. In the afternoon we made a small step and we showed a really good speed. I think we have the same speed as the fastest rider, but for the first part of the race. For the second part I think nobody really knows what can happen.

“The consumption, I expect a very big consumption for everybody, more than normal. If that will happen – I don’t know – that will affect the race a lot. What everybody can see about the speed on the paper will be wrong, because the consumption.

“The tyre drops because at this kind of track, you can’t pick up the bike because you have to stay at that angle, you can’t manage if you arrive in a bad situation with the tyre.”

So this will impact race strategy? “For sure,” he said. “For sure. But I think everybody will manage the tyre. How much? I think it’s possible to know. For sure there are some riders at the beginning that normally push quite a lot but I don’t think there is a chance here to do that.

“But I don’t know. I really don’t know. We are really focussed on managing the tyre, because to be fast is quite easy. Every rider [is fast]. This morning I was eleventh but I was four tenths back. The speed is a different story at this track. “To be fast when the tyre is very used is very difficult and we worked a lot on that. I don’t know if it will be enough but overall I think we did a good reaction after this morning.

“If other riders think in a normal way about the race, I think everybody will have to manage the tyres a lot - not just a little bit like in some races. But you know, with the riders everything can happen with the riders we have in our championship.”

When does he expect the tyres to markedly drop? “I think already in the middle of the race. Already there will be a step in the middle of the race. But the last five, six laps will be another big, big step.”

And what if he doesn’t get away from the second row well? “It already happened many times. It’s not the best strategy. I think this race is like what happened in Qatar. I was calm. I knew what I was able to do. I took time to make the strategy and then won.

“But I don’t think this is the same situation, because I think nobody really can know the drop of the tyre, and how much it will be. So also normally the best is to recover as fast as you can and after start to save the tyre. But it’s dangerous.

“So in any case the strategy will be difficult no matter what position you are in, even if you are in front. It will be a really strange race, I think.”