It's not always easy to stay out of certain situations. Dovizioso has said on more than one occasion that he doesn't want to get involved in the Marquez - Valentino debacle but the questions leave him with no way out. “Thank god I said I didn't want to talk about it” he says with a laugh. Whether he likes it or not, this is the subject on everyone's lips, not just in the paddock and the Ducati rider is forced to face up to it.
Andrea, Valentino has said that he's scared to race with Marquez, and you?
“No (he laughs) I've never got into certain situations with Marc, I've battled with him many times and it's always been an aggressive fight but within the limits”.
What will happen when they come face to face?
“I always go to the Safety Commission and so I'll also do so tomorrow. We'll see how it pans out but I don't think both Valentino and Marquez will be there”.
What do you think about the fact that Marquez was penalised in Argentina but Zarco no, having behaved in a similar way?
“I don't want to get involved in certain things, I didn't three years ago in Malaysia, nor after Argentina and I won't do it now either. I have my own opinions, which I keep to myself, also because it doesn't change anything. I think it's right that we talk about it among ourselves to find the best solution, which doesn't mean that it's an easy one to find. All the riders have their own opinion, I wouldn't want to be the people making the decisions”.
Will this clash condition the championship?
“I'm not conditioned by what happened, but they are and this impacts on others. Valentino's behaviour changes depending on whether he's fighting me or up against Mar, it's normal and inevitable, we're human. This will condition the championship but not necessarily positively or negatively, simply that it will condition it”.
Do you think more specific rules are needed?
“I think it's impossible to make a precise rule that covers every single eventuality. It's also true that it could be improved, they need to find a way to limit, as far as possible, any interpretation of the rules, but I don't think this is do-able”.
But the regulation is clear when it comes to a bike turning off on the grid…
“We need to try and improve and talk it through face to face”.
The riders pay for their mistakes, shouldn't it be the same for Race Direction?
“We'll talk about it tomorrow in the Safety Commission”.
In Argentina, Marquez was not lucid, is this a weak point you can exploit?
“I don't have an answer. I don't think any other rider in the same situation would have done what Marc did, because he's different to everyone else. Maybe we would, I don't know. As for the championship, he lost points and we gained some, this result was in his hands. This is the reality of the situation and it conditions him in terms of the championship, at a track at which he could have dominated, he scored zero points”.
But, despite a ride-through, he could have finished 5th…
“You need to score point, we'll fight until the end”.
You're now second in the standings behind Crutchlow, did you expect that?
“I'm very pleased for Cal, he already started out well in testing, he was good in Qatar. He is proving that Honda has taken a step forward and that he has a different approach. I think that this win will have a positive effect on him. He's one of the riders who can run up front, to what extent I don't know”.
What do you expect in Austin?
“I too have doubts at this track. It's true that the Argentina weekend was odd, with conditions that didn't allow us to work, but we struggled as we did last year anyway. So, I'm interested to see what our level of competitiveness is like in Austin”.
Any other doubts?
“We need to understand whether the modifications to the track have reduced the potholes. We need to see if the level of grip has dropped off too. On paper, I don't think it's a track where we can make the difference: like in Argentina, it will be one of those weekends where we just have to think about scoring points. We'll think about the podium and then see if that's a feasible goal”.