It most certainly wasn't the Friday that Andrea Dovizioso had wanted. The first day of free practice at Misano went very differently from what they had hoped for in Ducati, which after Michele Pirro's tests was convinced that it had all the right cards to try and bridge the gap on the track named after Marco Simoncelli. The reality, however, is quite different and it was all reflected in Dovizioso's 11th position at the end of the first two free practice sessions.
The rider who is about to leave the Borgo Panigale manufacturer said he felt much more serene and free from a mental point of view, now that he has concluded the separation. But he still continues to struggle with the new Michelin, and in his opinion it does nothing but constantly shuffle the cards every time the riders take to the track.
"I’ve learned something about these tyres - said Dovizioso - but the point is that things really always change, the situation on the track is always different. Every time you hit the track, something changes, you have to adapt immediately. In this strange season, every weekend is completely different. It is difficult to make real progress in a situation like this because everything always changes. You try everything, but in the end every time you get on the track you have ideas that you have developed on the previous track and then when you are on the bike you have to change everything again. There is confusion in my opinion, but I think we are working quite well from this point of view ".
So you are still critical of this change, or at least you are still not interpreting these Michelins at their best.
"It’s not good, because the situation is constantly changing on every track we ride on. On the tracks we have raced on, the riding style required to go fast was different than in the past and the same thing happened here. There is a lot of grip, but the reactions of the bike are completely different compared to 2019 and you have to adapt, change your riding style. It's strange, because in particular here at Misano we have excellent grip but also a lot of bumps. I think I was not able to ride smoothly and cleanly today. In the end, the time I set wasn't too bad considering the sensations I had in the saddle, but in reality things didn't go as I wanted at all. "
Do you have at least a clear idea of what it will take to make a step forward for tomorrow?
"I think I have to change my way of riding the bike a lot here, we have to study the data. Luckily, we also have a lot from Pirro’s test and this is very positive."
How worried are you actually?
"How worried am I from one to ten? It’s better not to say! Today I had bad feelings, but honestly I still don’t know what it could depend on, if it is a question of me or of the bike, or the tyres. I don’t know yet. When you have these bad feelings but you set acceptable times, it means that the situation is not really that bad. Let's see how it goes tomorrow morning, if it will be more or less like today or if it will be possible to work on the details we need to be really competitive in the race ".
You also had an electronic problem on one of the bikes today. Did that episode affect you?
"This morning I had a small electronic problem. Nothing important, but when these problems happen in the end you waste time and you can't make the most of the session. For me there is too much electronics on the bike! Maybe today I had some bad luck, it all seemed strange to me. "
The other riders spoke well of the grip of the new asphalt, but many pointed out the presence of a lot of bumps. Is this a big deal for you?
"The bumps are a problem, but the situation is not so complex as to say that you can't race. It's a shame to think that the track has been redone, with an exaggerated grip and it's not nice to start with all these bumps. There are a lot of them, even if perhaps it is not correct to call them that. They are depressions more than anything else. I think they have made a big expense to improve the situation we had in 2019 and in the end I don't think they are happy with the result. There is no point on the track in particular where you feel them, they are everywhere. On the fast sections, they are also dangerous ".
Will these two races at Misano be decisive for your season?
"I don't think they are two decisive races, but very important yes. In the championship we are all close and it is normal that doing good results when you race twice on the same track is very important. What happens here could affect positively or negatively the championship, they are important, but I don't see them as decisive. "