Andrea Dovizioso is expecting a stronger performance from Ducati this weekend after the team struggled for pace at Phillip Island. The Italian barely made it out of the first qualifying session before going on to finish ninth in the shortened race, 35 seconds behind the winner, and is focused on closing the gap at Motegi.
“Motegi is a track that I like, but we’ll have to see what the temperature is like there. It seems that it might be colder than usual, and I think our bike could go a bit better there than it did in Malaysia and Australia. I really hope so because we must reduce the gap to the leaders. As for my MotoGP results, I’ve had a runner-up finish at Motegi, as well as my only pole position.”
Nicky Hayden was the first Ducati rider home in Australia but in contrast to his teammate, the American isn’t expecting to go as well given the stop/start nature of Motegi.
“This is a special race. There’s a lot of tradition and history in Japan and the fans there are great, which makes it a lot of fun. It hasn’t been a great track for me, and in fact I’ve struggled a lot there, so it will be tough. Because of the stop-and-go layout, the bikes tend to wheelie, and I’ve struggled to take advantage of the Ducati’s power.”