Yea, don't get your hopes up. Single fast laps are pretty much all the bike can do. When they can figure out the tire chewing issue (which is related to power output and chassis) then the bikes will be further up the pack. Remember, because Ducati can use more fuel during a race AND have more motor allowance, they're running a higher output motor then the rest of the field. Ducati has been at the top of the trap speeds for years, mix that with the tire options and you've got an interesting combo.
The team was quietly optimistic about nabbing at least a front row and maybe a pole position after FP2. However, I think we saw Dovi's max performance in FP2. He pushed that bike so hard to get that lap, he tried to do a 2nd one and made a huge mistake and bailed out, thus proving he simply can't do 2 in a row.
Dovi is the best thing to happen for the team since Casey left.
Well.... I'll let Dovi say it as best he could:
The harder option tyre also had Dovizioso setting competitive lap times, the hard braking of the Motegi circuit suiting the Italian rider’s style.
“I felt really comfortable on the bike today. We were second until the last five minutes on the harder option tyre. I could make a similar lap time throughout on the hard tyre, I’m happy with the speed. We started with a really good setup from the chassis and electronics side and this has helped a lot,” commented a content Dovizioso.
He added, “We have to keep improving our speed to try and fight for the podium. This is our main aim. The new chassis doesn’t change how I ride the bike, the bike is better overall than last year. The electronics are better, everything is better and it gave me the chance to be faster.”