The first practice sessions in Motegi came to an ended, and it's time for Andrea Dovizioso to evaluate the situation. The rider from Forlì came up fourth on Friday in Motegi, close to the top of the group in position but less in terms of gap, which adds up to more than six tenths.
“I kept the same tires this morning for the entire session," he started. "The pace was good but, unfortunately, the air was very cold this afternoon and the same tires suffered in the morning. We wanted to try the hard tire on the rear, which was used last year in the race, but it didn't work at all. It wouldn't even reach the right temperature. So, like Marquez when he had tested it, I immediately returned, and we were forced to change our work plan, we and couldn't do much more. I thought about reaching the time, and I still have room for improvement on the set-up that, on this track, has to be special, given the many times you have to brake with a straight bike."
The tires are also the main topic in Japan, given today's difficulties in making comparisons. All this could take a back seat anyway if it rains, with the great memories that remain of the race two years ago, which come back to Dovi's mind.
"The soft tire works well, since it's the same as last year, but I don't know if it can be used in the race or not. On paper, Sunday should be hot, so there might be a possibility, but we'll have to see. Quick on wet? It depends on the grip and how much water will be on the track. In 2017, we worked three days on wet tarmac and started in the third row, so it's not easy to predict.