Andrea Dovizioso believes he can stay among the lead pack in Sunday's Indianapolis Grand Prix after securing his second front-row start of the 2012 MotoGP season, but suspects polesitter Dani Pedrosa will prove unbeatable.
Fresh from four podiums in the last six races and with a 2013 Ducati deal looking increasingly likely, Dovizioso's strong run continued as he qualified third behind Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo at Indianapolis.
The Italian said the front row start came as a pleasant surprise, but that he was confident in his race pace.
"It was really difficult, especially at the beginning on the hard tyre because I found a lot of traffic. It's not so easy to do a good laptime because the grip is so low and you have to be really precise," said Dovizioso. "Also at the end I couldn't improve again because there was a lot of traffic.
"But I am really so happy about the front row. I didn't expect it. My team worked really hard and in a good way, so I'm really confident for the race because especially on the hard tyre we are quite fast. It's really important to start from the first row. "
He admitted that Pedrosa looked like he was a class apart this weekend.
"Tomorrow will be a really hard race. Dani has a special pace," Dovizioso said. "But we'll start there and see what can happen."