Dovi: Ducati? Not so wild
Andrea Dovizioso's first press conference as a Ducati rider began with a joke: "This season I've never had so many journalists in my garage, even if you added up all the races together." Despite rain falling throughout the day, the Italian rider still covered a healthy 41 laps at Valencia: "It was important to start out well, and we did that. I immediately felt comfortable in the wet, and I'm happy with best lap time; it's better than what I did during the race weekend. Even Hayden, who was fast in the wet this weekend, wasn't too far ahead."
Was this your best debut on a new bike?
"It's difficult to compare. Not many riders lapped today, and it was a test on wet asphalt. It was important to start early and cover many kilometers. I'm a rider who keeps his feet on the ground, so it's still not time to get too excited, even if I was fast today. I haven't set any records, and we are staying calm."
Were you expecting the Desmosedici to be different?
"Yes, a little bit. I thought it would be a wild beast (laughs). Even from the outside, the Ducati looked like a fast bike in the wet, and today I got confirmation of that. However, we'll need dry conditions to understand this bike better, because the problems come out when you push hard."
What are the biggest differences you found between the D16 and the M1?
"It's too soon to say. I didn't do enough laps to understand the details or make comparisons, and those I did do were in the wet. With these conditions can't even find the right seating position. The asphalt was only 10°, and it also was difficult to get the tires up to temperature. It will be important to test in the dry to understand things better, but tomorrow's forecast isn't good. I hope it will be sunny for the Jerez test at the end of the month, so we can start working."
Do you feel the pressure of having taken Rossi's place?
"There is always pressure when you are on a factory team, and it doesn't matter which one. For now, however, we are working in a relaxed way, and I'm not feeling pressure from anyone."
Speaking of the team, how are you getting on with you new engineers?
"Very well. The fact that they are Italian helps me. There is no language barrier, which made it difficult to express my exact feelings in recent seasons when working with Japanese crews. The approach was good with them, as it was with the bike."
The full audio interview is below:
Translation by Sean Sedacca