If there's one rider who didn't want to know about the summer break, it's Michele Pirro. Last weekend, #51 scored his seventh and eighth wins (of eight races) in the CIV under the Misano sun, essentially already putting one hand on the Superbike trophy.
Celebrations over, it's time to dive back into another of his role, or rather track coach to Jorge Lorenzo. “I think he needed this month's break – begins Michele – and we'll see him regenerated. It's not nice to see him struggling and I hope that his work together with our ours bears fruit”.
Did you expect so many difficulties after the Jerez podium?
“Not really, as I hoped that after the podium there'd be progression that would see him consistently at the level seen there. In racing though you never stop learning, and this shows us just how high today's MotoGP level is, as someone who makes the podium at one race can really struggle at the next track”.
Do you know where you need to work?
“Jorge is lacking confidence, as happens to all riders when they have to get to grips with a new and unique bike like the Ducati. He's a rider who uses the front, very smooth and clean, not having the right support there means he's struggling more than others”.
Help might be arriving in the form of the new fairing that you have tested. What's the aim there?
“We're trying to regain what we've lost, from an aerodynamic standpoint, having got ride of the wings. We hope that this solution can help Jorge on corner entry, as when he tested the bike with wings in November he was pleased. The main goal is to give him confidence at the front”.
Will we see the new fairing at Brno?
“We'd need the right conditions to use it, and we'd need to see if it can be useful at that type of track”.
After Brno comes Austria… are there hopes of another double?
“It's hard to say, because it's all an unknown this year. Last year, we were superior, but not by much and the fact that Lorenzo was a couple of seconds behind proves that. This season there have been races where we've won or reached the podium after others in which we've struggled, and others where hopes were high but the results didn't come; then we add the unknown that is the tyres, so we'll have to see ”.
While Lorenzo is in difficulty, Dovizioso is in fine form.
“Dovi is a confirmation; he's confirming that strength of will and hard work pay off in the long term. I'm sure he'll be in the title fight to the end, and this makes us all proud. I came to Ducati with him and I had the same problems at the start, so I'm really happy for him”.
Let's change the subject. Might we see the V4 debut in the CIV next year?
“Right now it wouldn't be possible, in that the current version can't be homologated for racing. I had the pleasure of testing it though and I can say that it's going to be fun”.
Last question. Has a rider as fast and experienced as you not had other offers?
“Let's say that I've had offers but my heart beats for Ducati”