The Ducati armada did not miss the mark on the first day of practice at Misano, placing 4 GP17 machines in the top 8 spots in the standings. Naturally, the captain Dovizioso is in the game with his 3rd time just a shout (63 thousandths, to be exact) behind fellow Ducati rider, Petrucci.
“As I imagined, the track conditions were very different from the tests a couple weeks ago, not only because of the lower temperatures, but also because the rain yesterday got the asphalt dirty and there was less grip” he observes.
Despite everything you were fast…
“Yes, I’m pleased because I got off to a good start and I am at the same level as the fastest, although I know that it won’t be enough.”
What do you mean?
“That the times will drop tomorrow, plus I have the feeling that Marquez and Pedrosa worked a lot in view of the race. We did not see their true potential on the flying lap.”
Where do you stand now?
“My feelings on the bike are still not optimal. As I said, I’m fighting with the poor grip on the track, but I think that the same is true for everyone.”
Ducati is proving to be fast with a lot of riders. Is that good or bad for you?
“I welcome the fact that a lot of fellow Ducati riders are fast, that is definitely a plus. On one hand, it is confirmation of the good job that we are doing and on the other, it means that we have a lot of data available that we can use.”
For the fairing too? You were the only rider with a factory bike using the standard…
“This evening we’ll have a detailed look. We’ll analyse the data of those who used it and decide whether or not we should use it tomorrow morning too.”
What is the goal for tomorrow?
“Misano is a particular track, small and narrow, and that prevents you from making a big difference in terms of times. We are all very close and here it is no simple thing to qualify on the first two rows of the grid, but I’ll have to do just that.”
Today you practiced the new flag-to-flag procedure again. Have you changed your mind about it?
“Besides the fact that I stopped at the wrong garage (he laughs) stopping on this track, where pit lane is narrower, things are more complicated. I think the exit angle is dangerous, because you have to make a very tight turn with the wall closer and you need to think that the asphalt will be wet. We knew that this solution would have some negative aspects. We just need to keep finding the safest possible alternative.”