Andrea Dovizioso troubled by old neck injury at Mugello MotoGP

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso says he is facing a reoccurrence of his ongoing neck injury during MotoGP's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello

Andrea Dovizioso troubled by old neck injury at Mugello MotoGP

Dovizioso has battled a neck injury since a crash while in the 250cc class in 2005, and it flared up again on Friday morning, before the opening practice session.

That session was affected by rain and Dovizioso was among a host of frontrunners that elected not to run during the 45 minutes.

Conditions improved in the afternoon, and while team-mate Andrea Iannone topped the times, Dovizioso was 13th, but did not use new tyres.

"It's not something new," he said of his neck issue.

"Sometimes it can happen and this morning when I put the helmet on, I felt something that my neck locked.

"It's a problem to be on the bike because I can't turn my head to the back.

"But fortunately we improved the situation a bit for the afternoon and I was able to ride, not in the best way.

"My speed wasn't so good, but it was important to have feedback for tomorrow morning."

The Italian, whose ongoing Ducati future was confirmed earlier this week, estimated he had faced the problem "six or seven" times during grand prix weekends in his career.

While he said he had "never found something that was able to fix it very quickly", he noted that one occasion was the Mugello race in 2013, in which he was "in a good position to push" in the race and finish fourth.

"Since 2005 I live with this problem every day. Also every time I sleep, I am thinking about that," he added.

"But this kind of limit happened six or seven times, not more.

"I don't have control about that, I feel OK, and normally when I crash, most of the time it happens.

"Also at Le Mans, it was a little bit different, but the week after Le Mans I had a big problem.

"I did all of the therapy, I had a good person at home working on that but it's something you can't fix, it will always be like this for ever."

IANNONE HAILS 'PERFECT' DAY

In the week his Ducati exit and Suzuki switch was confirmed, Iannone set the pace on Friday afternoon.

As one of the riders to run new tyres, Iannone was 0.461 seconds clear of Jorge Lorenzo - who did not - and buoyed by how the weekend is shaping up.

"I love this track and also the feeling today from the beginning is very, very good," he said.

"Everything I think today is perfect, apart from this morning because the track was 50-50 but we tried the intermediate tyres and I think it's a very good idea.

"The most important thing is this afternoon, these conditions and we have a very good potential to improve."

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