Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso admits this weekend’s MotoGP round in Thailand is an unknown quantity as the Chang International Circuit hosts a premier class race for the first time.

Dovizioso, second in the championship and 72 points behind Honda’s Marc Marquez, says so much has changed since the winter test in Buriram that it is ‘impossible’ to know how the weekend will pan out.

The Italian rider, though, is in no doubt that the searing heat will have a major impact on the performance of the bikes and tyres in Sunday’s race.

“To make 27 laps is very hard for everybody, the bike is very hot and it is difficult, so that will affect the race a lot and the work of the tyres, but it is impossible to know how it can be,” he said.

“We did just the test, we didn’t race here, so we can’t know all the details and the tyres are completely different than the test. For sure the situation about the speed of the riders is a bit different than February, so everything can happen.

“For sure, we can start with a good speed but we will see how the tyres will be because we tried something during the test and the grip was very low. It looks like on the paper that this tyre will be even with less grip, but we will see.”

Dovizioso has engaged in many final-corner battles with Marquez over the past few seasons and the last corner layout at the Chang circuit could give rise to a similar climatic finale on Sunday, but Dovi is refusing to think that far ahead just yet.

“I think this kind of corner, for every class, will be an important corner, but to think about the last corner, first we have to think about a lot of different things,” he said.

“The first is the heat – the heat is very high and maybe it will be even worse than in Malaysia.”