Factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso has said that the colder temperatures in Motegi caused issues for him on the opening day of free practice in Japan.
The Italian ended the day fourth fastest in the combined free practice times, 0.650 seconds behind pace setter Fabio Quartararo.
Dovizioso explained that he kept the same tyres on his GP19 through FP1 as he attempts to work on used tyres. In the afternoon session the Italian wanted to work on the harder Michelin rear tyre, but the colder air temperatures left him unable to run the tyre.
“I kept the same tyres this morning for the entire session,” said the 33-year-old.
“The pace was good, but unfortunately the air was very cold this afternoon and the same tyres suffered in the morning. We wanted to try the hard tyre on the rear, which was used last year in the race, but it didn’t work at all. It wouldn’t even reach the right temperature.”
With the tyres not warming up, Dovi admitted that he and his factory Ducati team were forced to change their approach and their plan in a bid to maximise the limited dry track time.
“I immediately returned, and we were forced to change our work plan, we couldn’t do much more,” he said.
“I thought about reaching the time, and I still have room for improvement on the set-up that, on this track, has to be special given the many times you have to brake with a straight bike.”