In the first qualifying sessions today, in amongst the pole position of Fabio Quartararo followed by his future teammate Maverick Vinales and Marc Marquez, the other big news was the fact that the best Ducati in the standings was that of Pecco Bagnaia who classified 4th and tomorrow will start from the second row with Jack Miller at his side. The two Pramac Ducatis, basically. In the second row, in 8th place with the first Ducati, Andrea Dovizioso is struggling with a lot of problems during these first few days of the 2020 MotoGP championship.
"Pecco did a great qualifying session so congratulations to him and to Jack who was also doing a good lap - Dovizioso said in a debrief with the media - We are in a strange situation; the tyres are unusual and we have not yet understood them fully. We must not give importance to when things don’t go well in these cases, we must continue to study them and look for confidence on the front."
Another important event of the day was the crash by Alex Rins who probably dislocated his shoulder. With such a short championship and the risk of an injury always around the corner, are you riders a bit more conservative than usual?
“We can't afford to do this reasoning, just thinking about it would make us go slower. If we reasoned like this, we would not be in the world championship and we would not be at this level. We don't have risk management and if a rider doesn't push hard to surpass his limits he can't even stay at these levels. This is the reason why many riders arrive in MotoGP, show some good form and then drop down. There are a lot of extreme aspects to manage, it is like this in every sport at the highest level. The championship is more compact but even before an injury could have compromised the season ".
You said that you were searching for more confidence on the front. Did this problem harm your performance today?
"Today's qualifying goal was to finish in the first two rows, but I was not fast enough; the pace for the race is good and similar to that of the top guys, the problem is that there are a lot of us with the same pace, I don't know where can I finish tomorrow. I am focusing on having more front-end confidence, I have tried a lot of settings this weekend; normally I don’t do it but we are still working on this bike. I'm riding differently than in 2019, there are a lot of changes to make and the race weekend is the only time we can do them. "
So you are putting your hands on the GP20. What are you working on?
"It's not so much a question of the bike as of the tyres, the new Michelins work differently and you have to adapt your way of braking, entering corners, coming off the brakes and opening the gas. They are really small differences but it is not easy to change so much, it is not even clear what we have to do but we have a lot of data that are helping us improve session after session. I'm not worried because the speed is there. "
In short, you still have a difficult rapport with these new Michelins ...
"The tyres are the same for everyone, I'm not happy with my feelings with these tyres. We can’t complain, it's a question of adapting."
In tomorrow's race, is there any chance of a podium?
“Tomorrow the pace of a lot of riders will be different from what we have seen in recent days. The race will revolve around the way everyone manages the heat in relation to their speed; racing in these conditions for 25 laps won’t be easy and you will also have to control the tyre wear. We always aim for the podium; we'll just have to see how it goes tomorrow ".
What will be the most important aspects to try to get back on top?
“The start will be crucial because it is difficult to overtake here and when you are behind another rider the tyre heats up even more. This is only one aspect because when you do a race you have to be okay with various things where I still don't feel at my best. I have to continue studying everything together with my team, to try and improve. "
We saw that Jack Miller was using the device for lowering the rear a lot. Do you use it too?
“I use it too; all four of us are in the same situation. The device works but like all updates there are pros and cons with it. On this particular device it depends a lot on the track where you race, we must try and use it ".