Factory Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso said that he is ready to fight with Marc Marquez after qualifying on the front row of the grid at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
Qualifying on the outside of the front row, the Italian built up to his qualifying performance and despite not having the same feeling in qualifying as he did in free practice, the Ducati man is pleased with his front row start.
“Our goal it was to start on the first row, and we did it and I am happy about that,” said the Italian.
“In qualifying it wasn’t good like in the practice, so I couldn’t make a (one minute) 23 low, but in the end first row is very important. Because we know Marc have a really good pace and for sure he will really want to stay out front and make the rhythm, and we have to be ready.
“So, we work really hard for the race and we are quite consistent, but Marc was so fast with every tyre in every practice, but we are there.
“We worked so hard and we are ready to fight, there is still something where I can improve and that’s positive. So, let’s see tomorrow the conditions and the warm up to work on that.”
Last year Jorge Lorenzo won the race from Marquez on the factory Ducati, with the Spaniard really using an advantage in sector three to help him. Dovizioso appeared to improve through sector three through the day, but when asked if it was enough to gain the advantage his then team-mate benefitted from, Dovizioso said: “It worked but it’s not enough.
“Still we lose there and is a point where for sure I can be better. So, we are focused on that and studying the data, also some other Ducati riders’ as all riders ride in a different way, you can find some positive things from the other riders.
“There are some margins, and this is positive, so we are ready for tomorrow.”
Despite starting on the front row of the grid, Dovizioso found himself the better part of half a second behind Marquez’ lap time. Whilst Marquez’ pace was somewhat ominous, the Italian is aware that he has the pace to stay much closer in the race.
“He (Marquez) was so fast, and the temperature was so high and to make that lap time was very difficult, so he makes something special like many times, said Dovizioso.
“But fortunately, with the pace we are a bit closer so we will see.”