In what has turned out to be his worst ever season on the Yamaha, with not even one race win as yet, Valentino may still achieve second place in the championship. "I have a small chance” confirms the Doctor, in reference to the 9 points that separate him from Dovizioso.
“But to do so, I need to beat Andrea at Phillip Island - he states - This track works for me, at least on paper, last year both Dovi and Lorenzo suffered. It's also true that the Ducati has not suffered at any track this year though”.
So with regard to this head to head,we might ask whether it is Rossi who's had a good season or the red bikes that have performed badly? Neither of these is in fact true.
“Ducati's problem is that both Andrea and Jorge have scored some zeros, that's why I'm so close to them. If we're talking about speed, they are ahead of me. I'll do my best anyway, I'd like to fight for the podium at Phillip Island”.
Andrea believes the Doctor has executed the perfect strategy.
“The important thing is to adapt to your potential. It's only right to risk when you have a chance of winning, but if you cannot you should focus on other things. Having said that, there are also technical reasons. i think the Ducati is more on the limit at the front and it's easy to make a mistake when you're pushing. The Yamaha doesn't guarantee the same performance, but it gets you to the end”.
Where has Dovizioso gone wrong?
“Personally, I have learned to never leave home thinking about the race win. That's negative for me, as the result needs to be built throughout the weekend. Andrea has nevertheless proved that he can fight with Marquez, if he'd made less mistakes”.
Speaking hypothetically, would Valentino have adopted the same strategy?
“First we'd need to understand if I'd be fast on the current Ducati or not. I think it's the best bike right now, along with the Honda, but it's m remains a strange one to ride. Having said that, I have no idea what tactics I'd have adopted”.
The Doctor then moves on to Marquez.
“His limit? It's difficult to say what it is. His strength is.... being fast everywhere .There are riders who can beat him in one race, but no one can maintain that level at all tracks and in all conditions”.
Many are asking whether Marc will leave Honda in the future.
“It's a very personal decision, a rider needs to feel it. He might stay with Honda for his whole career, it depends on what he needs to stay motivated”.