The double Misano GP, as we have said extensively in recent days and weeks, will be an important watershed for the 2020 MotoGP world championship. After next week, we will be at the mid-point of the season and there will be fewer opportunities to make up any gaps. For now, Andrea Dovizioso’s gap from Fabio Quartararo, leader of the standings, is 3 points but today's qualifying and yesterday's free practice have highlighted a Ducati more in difficulty than expected and a Yamaha in great shape, the Japanese bikes taking the top 4 places in Q2, on the San Marino track.
“If you are competitive you can make up for the gap that I will eventually have in 8 days - Dovizioso told us at the end of qualifying Saturday - but at the moment I cannot set my own pace. Certainly, there will be time and points available but I will have to sort something out”.
As mentioned, the Yamahas have demonstrated an almost disarming superiority on the flying lap today, will it be the same in the race tomorrow?
“I think they will run a race apart tomorrow but behind them are Ducati, Suzuki and maybe even a couple of KTMs that have more or less the same pace and that can form a big group. In 26 laps anything can happen and I start from the third row which is a good result even if here at Misano it is important to be up at the front. Tomorrow the goal is the top 5 but it will be very difficult, I will try to start well and ride smoothly and consistently, in this situation you can go from 5th to 10th in just a moment".
We saw that your Ducati loses a lot in the first sector of the track. Is there a technical explanation?
“Yes, I believe there are two reasons. The first is that in that sector you have to run a lot of speed with the bike a lot and the second is the bumps. I can't be sure but the Ducati loses a lot on the bumps of the first three corners. Also in 2018, when we were strong here in Misano, we lost in turns 1, 2 and 3 but without the bumps we could attack and now we can't. The Yamaha and Suzuki move around a lot like us but have more speed in the middle of the corner and pass over the bumps with a few more km/h, and this helps ”.
The situation at Ducati seems very tense with riders in a house divided and with Davide Tardozzi who yesterday also expressed the team's discontent. Does this affect your work?
“There are so many situations that it is better not to talk about at the moment. If the situation in Ducati is getting more complicated, the fault lies with the tyre. Now riders who ride in a different way than what was needed to go fast in the past seasons are strong and we have to adapt ”.
On Tuesday you will have a test session here in Misano, how important will it be to look for new sensations and solutions for next weekend?
“Yes, it will be important to prepare for the next race because there are not the conditions to work with one eye on the future. This track has a lot of grip and a lot of bumps, two things that it will be difficult to find in other tracks ".
One of the most talked about issues these days is the use of radio for both safety communications and for teams. What do you think about that?
“If it doesn't disturb you, it can be a good idea. We have to try and see how it goes, we are in a different situation compared to F1, because they go faster in the corners but on the straight they are very calm. Not all riders are the same, there are rational riders who are able to manage more things together and others who will need more time to get used to it”.