Michele Pirro is also at the Mugello round. The Italian rider is riding the Ducati in a wildcard slot and this will be one of the races in which he will take part during the season. He may be a tester, but his second place time this morning certainly did not go unnoticed.
You were able to finish ahead of Lorenzo today – not bad.
“I tried to help him on the track. In fact, we went out together for the first part of the session. The bike responds well. In FP2 I did not use the soft since I preferred concentrating on race pace. Tomorrow we will most likely try to take another step forward.”
At the moment, Dovizioso seems to have a little something extra. He almost made it a double.
“Andrea has always been fast, managing to stay up with the best. I was also competitive and I will confirm my performance. I am convinced that Jorge will also get there tomorrow, taking steps forward with every session. I want to think positive, because in this race we are playing on our home pitch.”
You proved to be fast. What steps forward need to be taken tomorrow?
“I need to improve confidence with the bike. It doesn’t do anything wrong, but he needs to understand that he is riding a Ducati, trying to exploit its strong points.”
Yesterday Lorenzo said that two Ducatis could be on the podium. Do you think so too?
“Let’s take one step at a time. I think that today was positive, but we mustn’t underestimate the others. Lorenzo is close, whereas Andrea is hitting it hard. I might need to work a bit on the setup, particularly in terms of the new tyre.”
For a tester like you, how does it feel to live the race weekend experience?
“To tell the truth, as soon as I got to the circuit yesterday, it was strange to see so many trucks (he jokes). Also, when I went out on the track this morning, it seemed like I was on another track (he jokes). I got on the bike as if it were a test, trying to maintain the same mentality. Obviously, things change between testing and racing. In any case, it is not bad because the years go by, but I am still able to go even faster.”
Did you think about the fact that you could finish ahead of Jorge on Sunday afternoon?
“Lorenzo does not give up. In fact, I think I am motivation for him. He is a talented rider who learns quickly. You’ll see that I will have to chase him.”