There was no shortage of work for Andrea Dovizioso on Thursday at Jerez but at the end of the day, his doubt have been quelled. The Ducati rider rounds out the final test of the season in eighth place, just three tenths from the front, the overall balance positive.
“Last night I was ok and was in less pain with my wrist today than yesterday. This allowed me to work well, confirming the work we completed at Valencia. This was the aim and I'm pleased, as we have clear ideas now. Our speed is great, but we still need a little something”.
Andrea displays confidence, but is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.
“The improvements are not big but that's normal, as this is not the definitive bike. I can say that we're on schedule and well focuse. Luckily my wrist didn't limit me today”.
Andrea goes into more detail.
“I needed to provide feedback and we've been clear. I think that, since coming to Ducati, I'll be beginning 2019 in the best ever condition, I say that because there's been constant development, and that's not always a given. When there are highs and lows, it means that certain decisions were the wrong ones".
Dovi and Petrucci have done more than their fair share of work.
“we're testing many things, Ducati is able to manage the bikes in a certain way and carry out many tests. All this is positive, because it means development can be sped up, but we still need to take care".
Considering the recent work, many continue to believe that the red bike is the most competitive on the grid.
“It's always difficult to say, I think that's a characteristic of a rider and only normal. Until you try another bike, you can't know for sure. Tests are one thing though and the races are another, all that matters is finishing in front come Sunday. We have a good base yes, but we have to remain aware of our rival”.
Andrea looks ahead to 2019.
“Every championship has its own tale, we need to approach it in the right way and always be ready. Anything can happen over a ten-month season”.
Dovi touches on his new team-mate, new entry Danilo Petrucci. How helpful will he be?
“We'll see, we can't know that yet. There are pros and cons of course. When you have a champion like Jorge on the team there is something special, because someone like him can always pull something out of the bag. The work completed with Danilo is clear, as we are both providing the same feedback. That's not enough though, as we can do more to improve”.
Ducati appears to have been spurred on. In addition to Dovi and Petrucci, Miller and Bagnaia also shone.
“I view tests differently to the journalists. Times count for almost nothing, especially with the Michelins. If you look at Rossi, he should be fighting for 15th place, but then it's totally different in the championship. This means that testing can be approached in different ways. There are those who want to risk more, or less, and those who want to draw comparisons, pushing more or less. You need to bear the mind the laps completed and the pace. The Ducatis are up there sure, but being fast over one lap doesn't guarantee finishing out front in a race”.