Andrea Dovizioso has said Marc Marquez is ‘one step ahead’ after the opening day in Valencia despite the Italian outranking his rival on the timesheets.
Dovizioso was third quickest in this afternoon’s second practice while Marquez placed fifth, but the Spaniard’s pace and consistency was on point as the final Grand Prix of the season got underway.
With Marquez 21 points ahead in the title chase, it’s looking likely Dovizioso will need the reigning world champion to make a mistake if he’s to beat him to the title and even then he would need to win Sunday’s race.
And while Marquez slipped off in his 26th crash of the season towards FP2, practice crashes are relatively common for the Repsol Honda star who has a reputation for finding the limits through practice and then riding within them come race day.
Dovizioso says he’s struggling with launching out of a corner, with the Ducati team looking at ways to make corner exit smoother.
"It has been a very productive day because we have tried several things that have given us an idea about the race,” Dovizoso said.
“I am happy with my times but not at all satisfied with the sensations with the bike at this moment, because for the race it will be necessary to drive more smoothly. Today Marquez and Pedrosa have shown to be one step ahead, but I think we still have room for improvement if we work well with electronics tomorrow.”
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