“If anyone should be pissed off, I should be”, Dovizioso says these words light heartedly because the podium he brought home is worth more than the win he missed. However, that does not shield him from the questions on why that win for Ducati is still a fantasy.
“Are you angry because you bet money on me? – he laughs – A win is always nice, but I am here to achieve it in normal conditions. That would be important. Missing the chance today weighs more on you than on me.”
But it seemed close, maybe if you had come in earlier …
“It’s true that in these cases, changing the tyres earlier pays of most of the time, but when you’re on the track it’s different. From the outside looking in, everything is easier. In that moment, I was trying to go as fast as possible without destroying the front tyre and maybe I wasn’t entirely lucid. In fact, up to a few laps earlier I thought that I wasn’t going to stop at all.”
But your team had signalled you to come in …
“To be honest, I did it when I managed to read the board, because in the lap before they weren’t able to put it out in time and I couldn’t read it.”
Was it a mistake?
“Probably. Stopping a couple of laps earlier, I would have been able to make a play for the win. But when the team tells you to come in, it’s already too late. You need to do it sooner. When you’re in the lead it’s easier to make a mistake, because it’s hard to take certain risks. In a certain sense, Marquez, besides being good, was lucky that he made that mistake. He was able to attempt.”
Had you come up with a plan before the start?
“Yes, but with all these variables, including the tyres, and not being able to communicate during the race, it wasn’t easy to be ready. After changing bikes, I didn’t even know what tyres I had mounted.”
You had the intermediate on the front…
“And it was a good choice. I had just a few laps to go and in those conditions, you don’t need the support of a slick. Going from rain tyres to dry tyres is very difficult. Finding the right confidence is not immediate and it seems like you don’t know how to ride in the first lap.”
So you are happy with the podium?
“I am also a bit disappointed, but it is an important result on a track like this one, where we have always struggled.”
How would you judge this first part of the championship?
“It has been unlucky and disastrous in terms of points earned. But we have good potential, even if something is lacking. In a certain sense, not having championship goals allows me to concentrate on development. That is what I do, and I stress, I. There is no point in shooting off like that in practice like someone else does.”
Any reference to Andrea Iannone is not random.