Andrea Dovizioso picked up more at Jerez than he probably expected last Sunday and is aware that repeating at least that result will be fundamental from a championship point of view. With Marquez who will not be able to race to his full potential, it will be important to score points. Were it not for the fact that his rivals have made further progress, and the relationship with the 2020 Michelin tyre continues not to be idyllic for the Ducati rider.
One fixed point remains however, represented by the incredible potential that Marc Marquez showed last Sunday before having the crash that took him out of the race and will make life difficult in this one. Dovizioso knows that to beat Marquez he will need to pull out all the stops.
"I found out in the race how fast Marc was, I didn't know how many seconds he had lost when he first went off the track - Dovizioso said - I was concentrated on staying in the leading group. When he caught me, I saw that he was going much faster than everyone. He could brake much stronger, he could better prepare the exit of the curve. I couldn’t fight with him at that time. We’ve already seen Marc in these situations, you have to be good not to give too much importance to it otherwise it will crush you. It has already happened in the past in Argentina and America. We have to work to be competitive where we can be, in some situations he is particularly stronger than everyone else. "
Jerez is not the best track, but it proved to be less difficult than expected in the end…
"Jerez is not one of the best tracks for us, so making podiums here is gold. But the problem is perhaps arriving at in theory favourable tracks for us and not going well even there. We are focussed on understanding what we must do to make the most of our package, this is our goal right now. We do not know exactly how much margin we have and the proof is that all the Ducati riders, while riding differently, are fast. This is an advantage for everyone because we all have very different inputs. I don't feel as if I’m in a position to fight for the win, we are working during the weekend as if they were tests, but at the moment we are forced to do that ".
How are you experiencing this double Grand Prix on the same track? Do you feel you are improving in the sessions?
"I hope to ride better on Sunday than last Wednesday! Being able to work in very similar conditions between the various sessions is an advantage, while at the beginning I thought that doing two races in Jerez was not a good thing. Actually it is a good thing, you have everything under control, you can work on the details as I like it, a situation that helps to do a certain type of work. It is strange, for sure. Then, as in the winter tests, more days you ride on the same track more riders go fast, and this can become a problem. Tomorrow will be a really intense day; everyone will be very fast and here in Jerez it is essential to stay in the front rows ".
Are the other riders also positive about the double race on the same track?
"I think most of the riders are happy to race twice on the same track, because after being inactive for 4 months, everyone needs to work and being able to do it under the same conditions, in the same scenario, allows you to really work on the details. It is difficult to stay ahead in this situation because everyone improves, but we absolutely want to stay in the top 10 tomorrow morning. Even among us Ducati riders it is not clear who is faster, because if you look, we alternate so much in the standings. Tomorrow we will work hard to all find ourselves ready on Sunday. "
Where do you think you are at the moment?
"For now it is difficult to really understand where we will be because we have found slightly different conditions on the asphalt. The tyres seem to work differently than last week. But I am happy because I improved my feelings when the tyres are worn and it is there that we are really focused on. At the moment, however, we don't know where our rivals really are and we will only find out tomorrow. I have not found what I am looking for, but I know there is a lot of work to do and you feel that we are getting closer. The Michelins are unusual. I don't know if tomorrow after two rounds of the other classes something different will happen compared to what happened last week with the extra rubber on the ground of the other categories. We certainly have to be good at adapting and we must learn to manage better the rear, which is currently our real limit. "
In general however the Ducati in 2020 at Jerez seems to be in a bit more difficulty than the 2019 edition of the Grand Prix. It depends on what?
"It is difficult to understand what it depends on. At the moment, in my opinion, the tyre is changing the real values on the track, because at the moment we are working on different settings and it is usually a type of work that is done only during the winter. We find ourselves in a different situation and we are making a lot of changes to the set-up, more than we do on a race weekend, but this depends on the new tyres. In my opinion, we will improve a lot when we interpret them better, we can get back to the top, but in truth it is a situation that can go both ways. If we take a technical path that we believe is good, we could also make mistakes and find ourselves even more in difficulty. We must stay focused and work because at the moment the small details make the difference, only that I still don’t like myself, let's put it this way ".
Did you play around a lot with the bike set-up today?
"We did a lot of set-up experiments because today's MotoGP is like this. Everyone tries to improve as quickly as possible. We had a superb podium here, but we weren't fast enough to be able to fight for the win. If you want to win the championship you have to have the speed to do it, so you can't stand still and you have to constantly work to improve. Having done a podium here gritting my teeth, it doesn't mean that things went as I would have liked. Today's settings are good, I had positive results. We have improved, but if you look at the pace of our rivals, we are still not there. Then if you look at the other Ducati riders, sometimes they do very fast sessions, in others they are slow. The situation is still not completely clear."