MotoGP, Ducati: Dovi worried, slow development
It is a calm and realistic Andrea Dovizioso, as well as not too subtly disappointed, the rider who is getting ready for the Assen GP. It will be the 194th race in his career and the 7th one with a Ducati, that is improving hardly despite the new frame which has then been rejected by official riders.
"It was good to get on the podium with Yamaha last year, but this year with Ducati it is like facing a new track – "Dovi" said during the press conference – It will depend a lot on the weather, we suffer more when it is hot as seen at Mugello and Barcelona, but here the temperatures should be lower with rain maybe".
Do you expect a better result with a possible weather help?
"It will not be easy. I would love to get a good result for the championship, but we must first try to improve our competitiveness. We are working hard, we also did a lot of tests in Montmeló, but we still have not found the desired improvements and we will run with the same frame. Clearly we have to change our direction ".
Were you expecting such a difficult challenge when you signed?
"No, I knew it would have been difficult. After the first tests I was quite happy with the initial results, but we wanted to improve race after race to diminish the gap from the first ones and up to now we haven’t made it".
Despite the upgrades, the gap is still high. Is the new frame already retiring?
"At Assen we are not carring forward the development step of Barcelona, but the 'lab' bike is not put aside. There will be changes but they will be very different and we do not know with certainty when they will arrive. Surely we will test something at Misano".
And yet Iannone asked and succeeded in racing with the updated frame...
"Iannone felt at ease, especially with regard to the front he stressed more marked improvements compared to the other riders. It is right that he rides with the bike he prefers. The important thing for us is to improve the last year bike but it still is not happening and we do not know why. What is sure is that we need something different, because what we have done so far is not enough and the ideas brought to the track have not lead to the big changes we need ".
What do you think an intervention is needed on?
"Let’s first bring out the best from the bike, as in every race. We need to divide two issues: what happens on the bike and how to solve it. The rider is responsible for the first part, and he has to give more inputs to help engineers, but boundaries should not be stepped over".
Do you think in Ducati they don’t trust enough what riders say?
"Problems are quite clear, for everybody. Maybe a few years ago the question was whether to believe the rider or not, but everybody knows what is wrong. Competing against Honda and Yamaha is difficult, but no excuses, the progresses in which I believed have not occurred."
Honda instead has already brought on the track next year bike...
"Honda has an excellent base and is developing the details. It is a different situation, and they are ahead with the work. But they are the first in the ranking, they do not have too many problems to solve."
Even Suzuki seems to have found a good base to start from...
"Suzuki has made a positive start, but the results should not be taken for granted. For example, we should understand how they have used the current limits of gasoline. Then De Puniet has always been better in practice than in the race. We have to wait for the GPs to speak more in detail."
Do you think that the company organization changes ( Durhaimer’s dismissal , in the Borgo Panigale Board of Directors, by Audi) will influence Ducati path in MotoGP?
"It has just happened and they talk about very high levels. We still have to understand if and how they are going to influence us, but I hope not negatively".
Translation by Flavia G.