Andrea Dovizioso expects to make gains Saturday morning in FP3 having opted against using the soft tyre during FP2 for the Czech Republic MotoGP, leaving him a lowly 15th overall on the timesheets.

The Italian has been tipped for a strong haul of points over the coming three races – one in Brno and two in Speilberg – around circuits that have been particularly favourable for Ducati machinery in recent years.

However, FP2 appeared to suggest Ducati’s has gone the wrong way with the direction of this year’s GP20 as Dovizioso could only manage 15th, one position behind his factory team-mate Danilo Petrucci.

As if to emphasise the point, Johann Zarco was easily the quickest Ducati representative on his Avintia Racing-prepared year-old spec GP19, the Frenchman setting the fourth best time in both sessions.

Nonetheless, Dovizioso insists he spent Friday working specifically on race pace rather than chasing a quick time since the bumpy surface is creating higher than expected degradation, adding he has a much better feeling under braking than of late.

"It was a bit of a strange day because we had to deal with particular track conditions, where the performance of the tyres tends to drop a lot.

“I think we will all have to work differently than usual, to try to be as consistent as possible in the race. In general, my feeling with the bike is good, it is improving each session, and I have a good feeling on braking. Today I didn't put the soft tyre, but at the moment the setup for the race is our top priority.”

Zarco, on the other hand, was happy to be heading up the Ducati challenge even if he admits he is still struggling for consistency lap-to-lap.

“I know the bike can have a good advantage here with the power, but in the morning, I had to take references to ride well the bike and I finished good the practice with the new tyre. Then in afternoon I continued improving because the other riders were fast.


“It was hot and the consistency is not still my strongest point now but it is much better than Jerez. I can do a good lap with a new tyre and this is a really good improvement to get the Q2 tomorrow and a good qualifying.”

 

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