MotoGP championship leader Andrea Dovizioso said he will fight for a third straight win on Sunday after qualifying in a surprise second place at Misano.

Dovizioso leads reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez by nine points after back-to-back wins in Austria and Britain and is looking for a first ever podium in Sunday’s race.

The Italian was 0.162s behind pole winner Maverick Vinales of Spain in Q2 with a lap time of 1m 32.601s.

“I was surprised to make second and I’m really happy because before the qualifying I didn’t feel really good, but when I start with the new tyre, soft for the qualifying, I felt good again,” said Dovizioso.

“Our goal was to be on the first two rows and we did something better, so I’m really happy about that. They have a really good pace for the race but we are there, we can fight and for sure the conditions tomorrow, maybe, will be different than today, so everybody has to adapt to a new situation.

“It’s not easy to know very well the competitiveness of everybody in the race tomorrow because we have a different approach in the weekend,” Dovizioso added.

“Marc is always faster in practice, Maverick [Vinales] sometimes yes, sometimes no and trying to get the feeling step by step, so it is not so easy to understand just for the practice the real pace of everybody.

“And for sure the conditions will be different tomorrow – colder, windy and we have to see if it will be dry or wet. I think it will be more who is ready for the new conditions. Everybody will try not to make a mistake, that is the key of this championship, but apart from that we have to take the maximum of the weekend.”