MotoGP Sepang: Dovizoso anticipates Marquez and Vinales pace

Factory Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso has said that he predicts Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales as the main two men ahead of tomorrows Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit.

Starting from the second row, Dovizioso will start ahead of both Marquez and Vinales – after the formers grid penalty for slowing down Andrea Iannone on his hot lap.

Despite the slightly under the radar qualifying, Dovizoso feels only Marquez and Vinales have the pace to match him.

“I have a good feeling in the dry,” said the Italian.

“Today Maverick and Marc improved a little bit in their speed so I think we are very, very similar. I think we are the three riders with a similar pace and we are able to fight for the victory.

“Valentino is fast and Zarco improved in the afternoon also, so they have a chance to stay in the group also.

“My goal is to win the race, but I want to think about the Championship and if I can close second position here I would prefer that. So I will race to win, but also I want to look at Maverick and Valentino.”

Despite qualifying in fifth position, Dovizioso did crash out of qualifying whilst attempting to get on the front row of the grid. Unharmed from the incident, Dovizioso explained that the reason was more down to the front tyre than a mistake of his own.

“I was a bit too fast but the reason why is the front tyre is very hard,” he said.

“On straight braking we are able to brake very strong, but on the lean angle nobody has a lot of grip. Everybody has to manage that and it was very difficult as you don’t have a lot of feedback.

“So I did a small mistake, but in that situation I was able to make the minimum second position. When you have 15 minutes it is difficult to have the perfect feeling in the wet, but the feeling was good and I am happy if we have to race in the wet tomorrow.”

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