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Dovizioso ends first day of free practice at Motegi in second place. Fourteenth for Barbera, who makes his debut on the Ducati Team’s Desmosedici GP as Iannone’s replacement

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Andrea Dovizioso powered to second place in the combined standings of today’s two free practice sessions held at Motegi’s Twin Ring circuit. With a time of 1’45.204, which he set on the final lap of FP2 in the afternoon, the Italian rider was right behind the overnight leader Jorge Lorenzo.

Hector Barbera, who stepped onto the Ducati Team’s Desmosedici GP for the first time today as stand-in rider for the still convalescent Andrea Iannone, clocked the fourteenth time. The Spanish rider set his quickest lap of 1’46.853 in the morning’s FP1 session but was unable to improve in the afternoon.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’45.204 (2nd)
“I’m very happy with the way things went today, because we started off by immediately finding a good base for the rest of the weekend. For the first two exits in the afternoon, we ran with the soft tyre we had already used in FP1, and confirmed our pace. We still have to work on a few details because managing the front on this track, where you brake very aggressively, is not easy. For the moment there are five or six of us who have a similar pace, and I think there is still some room for improvement. We’ll have to see who will work the best tomorrow, but in any case I’m really satisfied with my first day here at Motegi.”

Hector Barbera (Ducati Team #8) – 1’46.853 (14th)
“Today was a very special day for me, because for the first time I stepped onto the Desmosedici GP 2016 I will race next year. At first it all felt good, but when I started to use the harder front tyre I lost a bit of feeling and was unable to push hard. We did a few different tests with the settings and towards the end of FP2 the feeling came back again, but the most important thing is that I feel good with the bike, which goes really well as Dovi showed today. In any case we picked up a lot of useful information that will allow us to work well tomorrow.”