Ducati was unable to place both factory riders on the front row and although Dovizioso’s pole position was greatly satisfying, it is also true that many were betting on the No. 99 ‘Red’ rider for the pole.
In fact, Jorge Lorenzo, who will instead start fourth, opening up the second row seemed like the best candidate for Ducati for pole position in Brno, had managed to set the bar in the early stages of Q2. However, on his second attempt at a flying lap, the Spaniard was unable to improve, missing a good chance.
It went like in Assen when they stole pole position from you in the finale.
"Like in Assen? Well at least this time there are just a few less riders ahead of me. A pity that qualifiers aren’t just seven minutes long - a jovial Jorge recounted - ten at the most and a shame that there are only a few tyres, otherwise we would have had pole position today, but it’s all good."
What were you missing to take this pole position? It seemed like it was really within your reach.
"I did a great lap with the first tyre - the Ducati rider explained - whereas on the second attempt, I didn’t have a very smooth ride and the fact that I had not tried the hard tyre up front with that temperature kept me from making the difference. But the truth is that, compared to yesterday, we are looking a lot better. We were able to find a great pace from this morning, so I can say that we went from a difficult situation to potentially staying with the favourites."
You had asked for some drastic changes to your bike. Do you think the new aerodynamics helped you for the qualifiers?
"A large percentage of the improvement certainly depends on the bike setup. I don’t think that there is a great difference with the new fairing - Lorenzo revealed - compared to the one we have used up to now. Right now, I can’t tell how much of an impact it had. I don’t know what advantages it provided."
Many say that in order to finish the race, you’ll have to go slowly, which goes against your instinct. How do you think you will manage the race?
"Of course, going slowly is the opposite of what you should do in a motorcycle race, but a pace in the low 1'56 is certainly not exactly going slowly. Of course, everyone will need to manage the tyres very well, especially the rear."
The tyres remain the central topic in MotoGP lately. Have you already decided which to use in the race tomorrow?
"I still need to choose which tyre to use in the race on the rear - the Majorcan specified - but I think it is better to stay with the hard. Riding clean will be fundamental in this race. Managing the gas will be the most important thing. We’ll need to find the right compromise with drifting at the rear.