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Andrea Dovizioso fourth on first day of practice for Australian GP at Phillip Island. Fifteenth place for Álvaro Bautista


Andrea Dovizioso finished the first day of practice for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix at the Phillip Island circuit in fourth place. The Ducati Team rider, who was also fourth in the morning’s FP1 session, improved during the afternoon’s run to end up with a best time of 1’29.406.

Álvaro Bautista, making his debut with the Ducati Team’s Desmosedici GP in place of Jorge Lorenzo, crashed coming into Turn 6 shortly after the start of FP2 and was unable to continue the session. The Spanish rider ended the day in fifteenth place with a time of 1’30.734.

Tomorrow the riders will be out on track again for FP3 at 11.55 local time (02.55 CET), with FP4 scheduled for 15.30, Q1 for 16.10 and Q2 for 16.35.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 4th (1’29.406)
“Today’s practice went quite well because we found good track conditions with very little wind, and we were able to complete a good amount of the work that we had planned. In the end my lap times were in line with those of the top riders, so I have to say that I’m satisfied. The Desmosedici GP is more stable than last year and so we are able to be quicker, even though we are still having a bit of difficulty mid-corner, but for sure we are losing less than in the past. Tomorrow we’ll have to continue working and improve even more because I can see that there are a lot of riders who might have a competitive pace in the race. Phillip Island is a peculiar track and has to be interpreted well: let’s see what weather conditions we will find tomorrow.”

Álvaro Bautista (Ducati Team #19) – 15th (1’30.734)
“It was a bit of a strange day, both because of the delay in getting out on track and because of my crash in the afternoon session, which didn’t allow me to do many laps. Overall, I’m pleased with the feeling on the bike and it all feels really good. In FP1 I tried the usual team setting and in FP2 one that was similar to what I usually have on my Desmosedici GP17 and I felt better with this second option. Pity about the crash, because I’m sure that I could have done a good time, but I went into the corner in the wrong gear, rolled off the throttle and when I changed gear again I lost the front and couldn’t avoid crashing. In any case I’m sure that tomorrow we’ll manage to improve.”