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26 days ago
By motogp.com

Marquez: “Dovizioso was very, very fast in FP2”

…and the Italian was overflowing with positivity after going quickest on Friday at Sepang

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was undisputed on Day 1 of the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, top in the morning as FP1 evolved to fully dry and the king of a wet FP2 session. It’s a good start as he prepares for a final stand in the title fight, with the Italian overflowing with positivity – especially about the bike’s performance in the wet.

“I’m really happy because we confirmed our speed in two conditions,” says Dovizioso. “We’re happy about this morning. It wasn’t a normal dry practice but the laptime wasn’t too bad, even if the conditions and grip weren’t so good. In the wet we wanted to confirm the good things from last year and it was even better. The bike worked really well and it was so good.”

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Dovi: "We've confirmed our pace in different conditions"

Rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), meanwhile – who sits 33 points ahead of his Ducati-riding rival – had a slightly more muted Day 1 as he took P5 in the morning and had a number of moments. But the reigning Champion was then the closest challenger to ‘DesmoDovi’ in the afternoon, setting up what looks to be a good battle on Sunday.

Rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), meanwhile – who sits 33 points ahead of his Ducati-riding rival – had a slightly more muted Day 1 as he took P5 in the morning and had a number of moments. But the reigning Champion was then the closest challenger to ‘DesmoDovi’ in the afternoon, setting up what looks to be a good battle on Sunday.

“It’s especially difficult to understand where we are in the dry,” says Marquez as he debriefs the day. “But in the wet we’re there, not so far. Dovi was very, very fast in FP2 but I was working well.”

One key thing the rider from Cervera says makes life harder is the two long straights at Sepang – one of Ducati’s strongest assets. “We have a few areas to work on, but there are two long straights and Ducati are very strong there. And then in Turn 3 I need to improve to get more grip at the rear in the dry, and in the wet we need to try and improve the front feeling.”

Despite the things to work on moving forward, however, Marquez was fairly satisfied overall.

“I don’t feel so bad,” affirms the reigning Champion. “It wasn’t the best day for us, but it wasn’t so bad. We improved and at the moment I’m feeling good, so we’ll try and keep the same level.”

There’s more track action tomorrow with FP3 first selecting direct entrants to Q2 qualifying, and then the grid gets decided from 14:10 local time (GMT +8). 

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Highlights: Dovizioso leads Friday in mixed conditions

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