The first challenge between Dovizioso and Márquez ended with a score of 1 to 1 in Aragón. The Italian was (clearly) the fastest in the morning, whereas the Spaniard gave his peremptory response in the afternoon. If anyone had any doubt, the arm-wrestling match between Ducati and Honda will continue even in Spain.
“This morning we found conditions very similar to the tests and that helped us - Andrea explained - We were able to pick up where we had left off and I managed to be fast straight away.”
So, Dovi was able to focus his work on race strategy.
“In the afternoon, I continued lapping with the tyres I had used in the first session and I managed to maintain a good pace. In terms of pace, however, Lorenzo, Márquez and I are very similar - he continued - For this reason, taking a leap forward will be important in order to make the difference in the race.”
If speed is not a problem, tyre wear could be.
“As usual, we’ll need to work to save them as best we can. On this track it will be more important than on others - he pointed out - Tyre wear will be very high and managing it in the best possible way will make a more significant difference than being fast. Today I focused on the front tyres in practice. I still am not entirely clear on the situation, but I was fast with all the options.”
Looking at the rankings today, it seems possible that a few outsiders could be in the battle for the podium.
“Crutchlow did a good time, as did Petrucci - Andrea reflected - If we were to race tomorrow, I think that there would be a large group of riders for at least the first half of the race. A lot are fast with new tyres, but it is hard to make predictions now. A lot of things can change. Just think of how things went in Misano. There were some surprises.”
In the midst of many doubts, Honda and Ducati represent the certainty of this championship season and Dovi tries to make an objective comparison between the two bikes.
“The Honda goes through turns better. It has an advantage on long turns, as well as on hairpins - he explained - We, on the other hand, have an advantage in acceleration and on the straights. IN any case, today we had a very, very similar pace.”