A two-sided Sunday for Borgo Panigale. The other side of the coin for Ducati was no doubt represented by Andrea Dovizioso. In spite of the second row earned in qualifying, the rider from Forlì struggled from the start because of the front, so much that he had to settle for seventh place behind Pol Espargarò.
“A pity, because I had expected to do a faster race. I think I worked well, especially on pace, but I struggled on the front from the first lap and I never figured out why. We will try to find out in the tests. I am very disappointed because we could have done a good race, given the fact that I have always struggled here.”
That was the problem that had an impact.
“I could not push too hard because I would have lost the front end, but that did not happen during practice. From the first lap, I realized that I could not hold the pace at the limit. Unfortunately, the situation did not change and it is disappointing.”
On Saturday Iannone seemed to be in difficulty, but then he improved.
“Andrea was not doing too badly. Yesterday he was only two tenths slower than I was. I think that the tyres used were particularly soft, so anyone who braked hard had more limits today. In the race you needed to slide more going into the corners, like Iannone did. On the other hand, I have a different style, since he needs less stability than I do.”
Did you expect Andrea to be so strong?
“Iannone has always been competitive on this track, unlike me. I had the pace in practice and that is significant to confirm the fact that there is substance in my performance.”
How do you sum up your results in 2016?
“I am quite satisfied. After the podium in Qatar there were several zeroes that were my fault, but we finished the season fifth. I am curious to test the new bike, trying to take full advantage of this last test of the year.”
Can we define this as a turning point season?
“I prefer not to call it that; maybe 2015 was. In 2016, some finishing was done, so it is normal to wait some time in order to find the details that make the difference. We finished the year on a positive note and it will be important for the future.”
At this point, what marks should we give Michelin?
“Despite the difficulties, the Michelins deserve positive marks, since MotoGP bikes are particularly demanding. Obviously, quality must be top shelf and we cannot have different tyres. I think I would give them an 8.5.”
“I think I was able to evolve, changing especially in terms of performance during race weekend compared with last season. Maybe this is the most evident aspect. Therefore, I think I deserve an 8, as does Ducati.”
From Tuesday Jorge will be alongside you. How will he be able to fit into Ducati and what will he bring to the table?
“I don’t know how he will be able to fit in, that depends entirely on him, in other words, on how he approaches this challenge mentally. A multiple world champion like him will certainly be able to bring a lot to the table. I think this investment is right, with the possibility of finding in Jorge what Ducati has been missing.”