Rain started to fall in the final moments of Q1 at the Malaysian venue and with the increasingly treacherous conditions the Italian was lucky to avoid crashing at the fast turn six. When asked after the session about the conditions the Ducati rider criticised the track surface:
“It was really dangerous, I almost crashed at turn six on my first outlap,” admitted Dovizioso. “It is almost impossible to see where it is wet because the asphalt is almost white and it’s difficult to see where is wet. So I arrived there and changed direction and completely lost the rear. I was lucky not to crash and I think that we need to work on that [with the safety commission] because it is quite dangerous for everybody. Nicky said that there were flags but I didn’t see them, maybe they were too much to the side.”
With the other 11 runners all using slick tyres Dovizioso felt that the risks of pushing too hard on the slick tyres was not worth the potential for crashing ahead of tomorrow’s 20 lap Grand Prix but even so he was happy with his laptime in the session and will line up from eighth on the grid tomorrow.
“It was quite difficult and I knew that the track could dry very quickly but we had just 15 minutes and on the last lap it was really on the limit to push 100% but I didn’t want to risk everything and pushed at 90% on three corners. To make a good laptime riding like this I am very happy because I didn’t expect this laptime. Compared to the test and this morning I know that I could make a better laptime but it doesn’t make a difference for the race.”
While pleased with his performance given that he did not push the bike to its limits the Italian admitted that if it is dry tomorrow there is little chance of Ducati having a surprising result:
“The pace in the race tomorrow will be very difficult. Tracks where the grip is low are worst for us and tomorrow will be very difficult.”