Struggling Dovizioso pins hopes on start

Andrea Dovizioso is counting on a fast start to turn his weekend around after another poor qualifying performance at Valencia

Struggling Dovizioso pins hopes on start

The Honda factory rider is only 10th on the grid, eight places and 1.2 seconds behind his team-mate Dani Pedrosa. Dovizioso has not started on the front two rows since Brno in August.

"We really need another good start tomorrow," he admitted. "We proved that was possible at the last race where I qualified quite far back but came through quickly."

He admitted that even if he can get up the order off the line, he is currently some distance from the frontrunners' pace.

"I'm frustrated with how today went because we were much closer in the morning but couldn't convert that into a competitive qualifying performance," Dovizioso said.

"In race trim we have one second to improve to be on the pace of the leaders, and that is a big margin and means we have plenty of work to do tonight. We made some improvements in both sessions, but we still needed to find some set-up solutions which will allow me to get the maximum from the soft option Bridgestones.

"I need to be quick off the line tomorrow because starting from the fourth row makes everything more difficult. It's the last race of the season though, and we'll be giving it everything."

Honda team manager Kazuki Yamano is confident Dovizioso will be stronger in the race.

"For Andrea things were going in the right direction but he hasn't managed to extract the maximum from the package during the 'attack' phase at the end of qualifying, and so he's on the fourth row," said Yamano. "It's not ideal for him, but we've seen that he can take a step up in the race and that's what he'll be looking for tomorrow."

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