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Dovizioso quietly confident of sticking with top trio

Dovizioso quietly confident of sticking with top trio

Repsol Honda rider believes he has pace to keep up with leaders at Laguna Seca.

Starting from the second row for his second Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix and with some principal rivals riding injured, Andrea Dovizioso has not had a better chance of taking a first podium of the season in 2009. The Italian had struggled with colder morning temperatures at Laguna Seca, but as things heated up he was able to take his Repsol Honda RC212V round in 1m 22.135s and take fifth on the grid.

“As I expected this afternoon, with the higher temperatures and using the hard Bridgestones, I could improve my lap times by a decent amount over this morning. That’s good because these are the tyres we’ll use for the race and we’re in pretty good shape,” revealed Dovizioso after the Saturday afternoon session.

“I think I have a good race pace and starting from the second row is not bad. Towards the end of qualifying I think I could have gone even quicker with the last soft tyre but I was on track when Lorenzo crashed so I had to slow down because there were yellow flags,” he added, referring to the nasty tumble suffered by his former 250cc title rival.

“Anyway I’m happy with qualifying and tomorrow we’ll aim to make a good start and stay with the leaders. In the heat of the race I think I should be able to grit my teeth and shave a few more tenths from my lap time too. This track is really special and the atmosphere here is unique, so and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s race. I hope we can be competitive and give the team a strong result before we head back to Europe. We have the pace to keep with Stoner, Rossi and Lorenzo, but I will really need to make a good start for this to happen.”

Dovizioso was unable to finish last weekend’s race in Assen after crashing out before the midway point.

MotoGP, 2009, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX, Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda Team

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