Don’t be deceived by the standings! It may be true that Andrea Dovizioso finished free practice in the lead on Friday at the Red Bull Ring, but this Marc Marquez seems to be more than just a simple threat, because he is ready to rain on Ducati’s parade. In fact, despite the references at the end of the day, the Italian prefers to keep his feet on the ground, at the same time giving the new fairing passing marks.
“I am very pleased with this first day - Dovizioso commented - There were a few doubts about the fairing, but it proved to be competitive and to work well. Compared with 2016, we are all much closer in terms of times, especially from FP1. This is a fundamental aspect for working on some details in preparation for the race.”
A year ago, the Reds had an open road with the winglets. However, comparing the 2016 evolution to the current version is not so simple to do.
“It is a bit difficult to make a comparison because the differences are enormous - he analysed - Obviously achieving the result from last year is impossible with the new rule, but I must say that the engineers really did a good job.”
The threat for Dovizioso and Ducati is called Honda.
“Marc certainly showed that he is fast, but I prefer waiting for tomorrow - he said - Viñales is not far off and he could get close, as could Rossi, who always solves his issues during the weekend. We’ll keep our feet on the ground, although I will sleep peacefully tonight.”
In Austria, Dovizioso is dreaming of the hat trick after his wins at Mugello and in Barcelona.
“On those two previous occasions I was competitive - the Ducati rider recalled - Only in FP4 did I begin to realize that I could aim for the win. Today it seems like there is a bit of margin, but I prefer waiting.”
A comment for the tyres as well.
“I think it is an aspect that conditions everyone more or less, since there is a lot of sliding around and the race is long - he reminded - They will just need to be managed.”
If Dovizioso has paved the way, the opposite is true for Lorenzo.
“This afternoon Jorge was competitive, but we’ll have to wait for tomorrow. I certainly did not think that Marquez would get so close.”