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Print

MotoGP, Dovizioso: the best Ducati I ever rode

- MotoGP

Andrea Dovizioso riding the Ducati 'Open'. You can note the different dashboard and button panel, in the red rings  - GPOne.com Ducati has chosen and Andrea Dovizioso, always sincere, had anticipated it to GPOne the last January. The third best lap time Dovizioso set today at Sepang is the best he has ever done on the Malaysian track , and it brought him less than one tenth off the two front runners, Rossi and Pedrosa. Crutchlow also showed considerable progress over the three days in which he was able to further get to grips with the bike he will be racing in his first season in Ducati.

" It’s good being so up in the times-sheet and it’s the result of the work we did over the two Sepang testing sessions - Dovizioso said- Besides of my best lap, done in the morning in slightly fresher conditions, we were able to improve our pace. Now we can brake harder and enter faster and that’s why we are closer to the front. Anyway this doesn’t mean we are in a position to fight for the top places in the races because our bike continues to have cornering problems. But it wasn’t in our plans working on that aspect at this test. The stuff we brought here was just for set-up tests".

How much important is the lap time you clocked today? Technically and emotionally.

" It’s important under all points of view, but most of all because it confirms the goodness of the job we have done so far: these lap times don’t come by chance. If I did a good lap it means that the bike allowed me to do so. We are using the 2014 tires and we are struggling as the others but we are not in a worse situation than them. I am really pleased also because the track conditions were worse than in Sepang 1. This means that we went much better this time around".

Aleix Espargaro’ performances make one think the Open choice is a good one.

"We should go a bit deeper on this matter: during the testing sessions you can see values that in racing conditions can be different. I believe that when Qatar time will arrive the same riders that were on front the last year we’ll be on front this one. It’s definitely probable that we’ll be closer but I think that our situation won’t be so different from the recent years. At least at the very beginning".

You did your best lap in the morning with the Factory, but you was good as well later with the Open...

"Yes, I did my best lap with the Factory bike because we had to make some comparison tests. Instead later I made the race simulation with the Open. There are not so many differences. To say the truth, nobody asked me to make a race simulation but I pushed to do it because my experience teaches me that when you make more than eight laps in a row you understand things that from a two-three laps run don’t come out".

Yamaha complains for the tires endurance. How is for Ducati?

" I’m happy with my pace, it dropped over distance but not too much. Of course we are not among the fastest under this point of view but our improvement from the last year is enormous , As I said we better our braking and entering into the corners: I started feeling again sensations that the last year were a dream. Said that, the bike doesn’t corner properly yet. When I release the brakes and accelerate, my line is wrong, same as the last year. So we must be, and we definitely are, happy with the job we done in such a short time, but being competitive over race distance is another story if we don’t solve the cornering issue".

Positives and negatives of the Factory versus the Open options?

" The Open software controls don’t work as well as the Factory’s one but probably there is margin for improvement".

You look nevertheless quite happy

" I’m pretty satisfied with the results we’ve achieved here and don’t forget this track is not one of the best for our bike ".

So the Australian test will be very interesting for you.

"Definitely. I think Phillip Island it’s not the best track to make a testing session because it has a unique layout, but it’s also a completely different track from Sepang. That makes it particularly interesting for us, for seeing how our bike will perform in such different conditions".

Translated by Federica De Zottis