Dovizioso upbeat over Sepang win prospects
28 October 2017 – Andrea Dovizioso says he and Ducati can fight for victory in any weather conditions at the Malaysian Grand Prix, as he bids to take the title battle to a last-race showdown.
Dovizioso is the only rider who can prevent Marc Márquez from taking the 2017 title, and must out-score his rival by at least eight points to ensure the championship remains open at Valencia.
Dovizioso qualified in third position at Sepang, just 0.024s behind pole sitter Dani Pedrosa, while Márquez crashed en route to seventh spot.
The Italian, victor in damp conditions in Malaysia 12 months ago, is sure Ducati has the performance to compete for overall honours, a week after a disappointing display in Australia.
"The front row was our target and we achieved it today, but I'm even happier about our speed, which is fundamental this weekend," he said.
"If you don't have a good pace, it's no good thinking about race strategies and we were fast in all the conditions, especially in the dry and with used tyres like this afternoon in FP4.
"In qualifying I did an almost perfect lap, and this gave me an immense satisfaction!
"We are ready for tomorrow, in any weather conditions: the bike is going really well, we are quick and this is the most important thing, because our aim is to fight for the win."
Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will start from the outside of the second row in sixth position.
"I lapped with consistent times but I was missing a 'demon' lap to be able to fight for the pole position," said Lorenzo.
"However I'm happy, because we improved the bike a lot during the weekend and I also managed to improve my riding style, especially under braking.
"Tomorrow we can stay in the leading group and if we have a good pace, fight for an important result."