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Andrea Dovizioso surprised with strong pace in Malaysian MotoGP qualifying

Andrea Dovizioso, Honda, Sepang 2011Andrea Dovizioso reckons he goes into the Malaysian Grand Prix in great shape having been pleasantly surprised with his speed in qualifying.

Although the Italian ended up third on the grid behind his Honda team-mates Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, his long-run pace in the session was impressive and he held provisional pole for long periods.

"It was a surprise because this afternoon I was the fastest with the soft and the hard tyre until the middle of the session," said Dovizioso.

"Sure, Dani crashed so we can't know exactly what his rhythm was in this qualifying, because it was hotter and really difficult for everybody to do the lap times.

"We made a really good improvement from free practice one and again this afternoon we changed small things on the bike and it was working. So I'm really happy.

"The race here is so hard and it will be difficult for everybody but we'll arrive at the race really fast."

Dovizioso said he was content with his final qualifying result, as although he could have gone a little faster, he felt Pedrosa's pole time was out of reach.

"I'm happy to be on the first row, it's always really difficult to do a fast lap here," he said.

"I didn't want to take more risks than I'd already taken on the last lap. The front was already on the limit.

"Maybe I could have made it a little bit better, but I don't know if I could've done the pole position."

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