Three races into the championship and the balance as far as Dovizioso is concerned is undoubtedly positive with respect to last year: he has 17 more points and he's leading the championship, albeit by only a little. And yet he has doubts, because the GP18 shone in Qatar, powering him to victory, but then struggled in Argentina and in Texas.
Like Andrea, general director Gigi Dall’Igna cannot be satisfied either: “I can't be happy with this race” he commented straight after the Austin race, with regard to the 13 second gap from winner Marquez and 10 second gap from Vinales.
The Venetian engineer is self-critical, but without forgetting what the 2018 season start has brought.
“We're leading the championship but the important thing is that last year we were struggling more. With a better start, I think that Dovi could have run the race with Valentino, this leaves me optimistic for the future and I'm pleased with regard to the championship”.
Now that MotoGP returns to Europe, the team needs to be ready, also resolving some contractual issues, in that Andrea seems pretty angry about Ducati's behaviour in this regard.
“As with all important contracts, we need to find the best possible solution for both parties- comments Dall’Igna diplomatically - We've started talking, there's no signature yet but I'm optimistic”.
Perhaps he's less optimistic with regard to Lorenzo, who still can't find his way with the red bike.
“We need to reflect as to the Jorge situation".
Best to look ahead to Jerez then, a track that isn't particularly favourable for the Desmosedici, but one at which Lorenzo reached the podium last year.
“But in winter testing, Dovizioso was quicker than Jorge at that track - recalls Dall’Igna - We head to Jerez with confidence though we don't have anything new for the race, we're working hard but I don't think we'll be able to bring anything new to the track before Mugello”.
The feeling is that the GP18 still has room for improvement, despite Honda and Marquez appearing fighting fit.
“Last year, they started out worse but we were also struggling more. We found competitiveness at Mugello, them at Barcelona. Now we've both grown: it's looking good”.
Interview by Paolo Scalera