After a controversial end to Qualifying 1 a week earlier at Aragon, when Ducati's MotoGP title contender Andrea Dovizioso lost a place in Q2 after towing team-mate Danilo Petrucci to a faster time, it was Dovizioso who benefitted from a tow in the same session this weekend.

The rider leaving the pits just in front of Dovizioso as they began their crucial final run was Pramac Ducati's Jack Miller, fastest at that time.

When the Australian remained ahead of the Italian during his out-lap, then both sat-up at when Miller ran wide during his first flying lap, it looked like a Ducati strategy to try and aide Dovizioso was in play.

Miller towed Dovi for another complete flying lap, when the Italian rose to third place, and then most of the last lap, moving aside on the back straight with one corner to go.

But both would end up losing out.

Dovizioso was unable to break into the top two on his last lap, while Miller was bumped to fourth place and - in images similar to a week ago with Dovizioso – threw a glove in frustration as he returned to the pits.

But his anger wasn't at any team orders gone wrong, Miller said later, but a lack of tyre grip.

"I was doing my laps, but the second tyre didn’t work… at all!" Miller said. "The first tyre I did that lap time relatively easily and then the second one had no grip. So that was the main issue.

"Apart from that, I mean, yeah Dovi was behind me. But it wasn’t anything set-up or anything like that. It's the way the cookie crumbled."

Miller added: "It’s not going to be easy from 14th on grid. But we’ll try our maximum. I’ve got Mir and Marquez in front of me and they were on the podium last weekend. We’ll see.

"We have to make a decision on the tyres. Then for the rest cross our fingers and hope something magical happens. At this time I can’t really see that happening. But we’ll try. As always. Every Sunday I give my maximum and tomorrow will be no exception."

Dovizioso, having failed to advance to Qualifying 2 for the second week in a row, will line-up just 17th on the grid, four places further back than last weekend when he recovered to seventh.

"The bad thing is that the competitors improve from last week, but not us," said the triple title runner-up, who is currently fourth in the standings, 15 points from Suzuki's Joan Mir.

"For sure I will approach the race like always, to get the maximum points. But at the end if you don't have the speed, you can't think about anything. You don't have power to decide something.

"In this moment I don't think about the championship, because I don't think it's in my hands.

"We worked a lot on the setup, and we tried to adapt, but in the end, as you see, it didn't work."

Mir (Suzuki) will start from 12th place, with Yamaha's title contenders Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) 6th and 4th respectively.

 

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