Teased about his rear tyre choice, Andrea Dovizioso began to laugh, with gusto.
Because the Ducati rider, thanks in part to the soft Michelin on the rear, managed to take his third Grand Prix win of the season, the fourth astride his Ducati Desmosedici GP, repeating the ‘red’ undertaking at the Red Bull Ring: “Last year, Iannone won here choosing a tyre better than mine - Dovi reveals - and it was a nice victory, because Ducati had not won for a long time. But the win today is more important, because I am in the running for the championship. Beating Marquez was hard, because he is in grand form and his Honda really works well. I tried everything I knew and I was successful.”
What was the winning move that you and the team made?
“The difference here with the team was in analysing the tyres. We at Ducati were the only ones who figured out that we had to use the medium in qualifying and we were one of the few who put on the soft in the race, managing to win the Grand Prix. Since we have been using the Michelins, we have to interpret every parameter and every available compound: atmospheric temperature and track temperature, as well as lean angle always have an impact. We knew that the soft would perform the best, just as we knew about the new fairing which worked very well here.”
Has the significance of your undertaking here today sunk in yet?
“Not yet, but that is a positive thing. It means that my mind is completely focused on the championship and the final result.”
Tell us about your last lap…
“I was losing too much in the left-handers, so I had to close all the doors. Since I couldn’t hear the sound of his engine behind me, I did not know where Marquez was. I went slower, so he got closer to me. Not braking all the way to the limit on the penultimate corner was a move I made by thinking clearly because if I had, we would have both gone off track and he, being on the inside, would have won. I knew that Marc would try on the last braking section, but I didn’t want to believe that his attack would come right on the last corner! I was careful, hearing the sound of his engine. Marc had prepared for the attack – in fact, he opened the throttle before I did – I went straight and he went long, so I was able to cross the line in first place.”
Did your gesture mean “I tricked you” or “screw you”?
“I ‘sent him to hell’ because he had tried to have a go where there was no space. Instinctively it was a ‘screw you’, but it was like saying ‘screw you, I tricked you’. So, a mixture of the two options (he laughs).”
How much did the development of the bike have an impact, without using the winglets?
“Last year, Iannone and I had an advantage to manage. Today, on the other hand, we had to exploit our strong points as much as possible. Marquez had advantages in some situations and we had advantages in opposite situations, so it was difficult to win.”
What are the races to focus on from here to the end of the season?
“I have no idea. This year is even more complicated than last year. You have to take things moment by moment and stay on top in every single practice session, so you have to take on the races that way too: working well in every session, methodically and strategically, because every external factor and every change to the bike can be determining. We always keep the wins at Mugello and Barcelona with us, because they boost our morale and make us believe in what we are doing, always at all times.”
What are your predictions for the next race in England?
“We can’t make predictions. The Misano tests will be important to solve some problems with the bike. We’ll see how they go and try to arrive at Silverstone in better shape than last year.”
Do you think you have changed in the meantime? What have you discovered about yourself?
“About myself, I discovered that I am a winner in MotoGP. Now, compared with the past, I am more aware of my potential, so I believe in myself more. Further motivation also comes from a champion like Lorenzo being in the garage. He motivates me to always do better. I have turned into a good guy, but I was that already, just that now I also have balls.”
Who do you dedicate this win to?
“I want to thank everyone, and I mean everyone!”