What we saw today was a very relaxed Andrea Dovizioso who was certainly aware of his strength on this circuit. Relaxation and safety, however, are not to be confused with "superiority" because Dovi knows he is still second in this strange world championship and that he has to fight for everything in this final season with Ducati, against riders like him and not "Martians" like Marc Marquez .
"The fact of having sorted out my contract matters a lot, but it was the speed that came with the work that changed things, even more than the decision made last week. Vinales and Quartararo did not consider me for the championship after the first few races and being back so competitive and conditioning them definitely makes me happy. Of course, this is a favourable track for Ducati but seeing who dominated the first races go into such a crisis shows how the tyres are affecting everyone, even if at different times. Now in Yamaha, for example, they are struggling a lot ”.
Do you think that Fabio Quartararo, after two difficult weekends and a third that seems not to have started as smoothly as possible, is starting to feel a bit of pressure?
“Being at the top of the world championship classification doesn't create the same sensations, it depends from rider to rider. When it happened to me it didn’t affect my riding, but Quartararo is young and after dominating the first races he is having difficulties and I am close, there is a bit of a crisis. The future is on his side because he is really strong but the fact that some other Yamahas are going stronger than him worries him. The level of all the MotoGP riders is very high and it is unthinkable to think that you are always the best in your manufacturer, that only happens to Marquez ”.
The Suzukis also emerged today and finished in sixth and seventh positions. How do you explain these performances on a track that in theory favours top speed?
“Their bike is different from the Ducati. They go very fast in the middle of the corner, and brake very well, almost like us. From the point of view of acceleration, they are not at our level but they manage to get out of the corners very quickly and therefore do not wear out the rear tyre and gain in the first meters of the straight. We cover this distance with top speed and acceleration from the middle of the straight onwards ".
You mentioned braking, a problem for almost everyone at the Red Bull Ring today. Do you think this track, combined with the high temperatures and the power of these bikes, is a bit too hard for the Brembo calipers?
“I'm a rider who always brakes very hard and the Ducati requires this type of characteristic, so I always use the maximum specifications of Brembo brakes. Here in Austria we are all at the limit because the bikes are very performing, even more than in 2019 but the brakes have not changed because those of last season work very well ”.
What is the situation like for the race? In your opinion who can try to get close to the podium and who can try to beat you?
“Right now, the situation is similar to last week, but tomorrow something will change. The Suzukis and the KTMs of Oliveira and Espargarò can win, just like me and Miller. Everyone is working differently from a normal weekend because they have the data from a few days ago. I am working on comparisons between the medium and the soft for the race, here since 2017 no one has ever won with the medium but if it gets cooler things could change. Being sure to enter Q2 as early as Friday morning gives me the opportunity to work on the tyres and fine-tuning”.
Petrucci: "I'm never consistent"
For one Ducati in a good position, there is one that is still in difficulty and we are talking about Danilo Petrucci who was halted today by various technical problems on his bike. Danilo is not having a good time and the lack of results, and therefore real goals in terms of the classification, combined with the separation announced by Ducati at the end of 2020 could mean that his presence in the Borgo Panigale garage is becoming almost a burden, a distraction from Dovizioso's “world championship mission”. In addition to this, his future company, KTM, is setting the world alight both with the factory team and with the Tech3 satellite squad and it is possible that the desire to get on that bike will frustrate the current season with Ducati. Is that the case?
"It's a bit of a strange situation. Obviously, I am pleased to see these improvements on their bike but from another point of view they are more opponents for this year. What interests me now is to get everything right with the Ducati to try and do a weekend without any major problems. This morning I think I understood something but this afternoon I had some technical problems with both bikes and I did only 6 laps. I only have a few tenths to go but I always arrive late and I am never constant, I want to stay positive”.