Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso secured his second successive front row start this season for his home grand prix tomorrow at Mugello, despite having restricted movement in his neck resulting from a heavy fall yesterday morning during FP1.
|All smiles from Ducati in parc ferme at their home race
The Italian was unsure if he would be able to ride this morning but made it out on track without delay after intensive physiotherapy yesterday evening.
Dovizioso went on to finish seventh in this morning’s FP3, well within a second from the top of the time sheets. The ex-125cc world champion progressed further in Qualifying and was able to grab 3rd position on tomorrow’s grid after an inspired last lap wonder, with the help of a tow from eventual pole sitter Dani Pedrosa, much to the delight of Italian and Ducati fans around the circuit.
Even though Dovizioso showed impressive outright pace on his own in Qualifying, he acknowledged that his race pace may not be good enough for a podium at his and the team’s home GP: “It feels incredible to make it onto the first row at Mugello, especially as a Ducati rider! It was one of my goals, but I still can’t believe it, particularly after yesterday’s crash. The Clinica Mobile and my physiotherapist did a really good job of making my neck feel better, which gave me the opportunity to push hard in qualifying. It still bothers me, but I can push at almost 100%, and because yesterday I didn’t even know if I’d be able to race, I’m very happy. We worked really well this morning, improving the setup a little, and I was pretty fast this afternoon, but when the tyres wear a little our pace isn’t good enough to fight for the podium. Anyway, we’ll try to do our best to get a good result tomorrow for Ducati and all our fans.”