If Ducati’s weekend at the Red Bull Ring were a movie, it would probably start out as one of those thrillers with bated breath, all or nothing, one of those that you don't understand anything for a while only to say: "Ah, but it was him!". Only Spielberg's 10 corners will be able to tell us whether the finish will be sweet or bitter for the Borgo Panigale manufacturer, but the fact is that Ducati, in these two Austrian weekends, given its past, seems obliged to win.
"The people who say this base what they say only on the past, but I am a realist and I prefer to talk about the present and our situation at the moment is not the best - said Andrea Dovizioso - I am pleased to hear about victories here at the Red Bull Ring because anyone who says it must really have a lot of faith in me, but the reality is different: we have no more chance of winning than the others”.
Dovi, do you feel the pressure right now? We are at a track where Ducati has won for 4 years in a row, you have scored two of these wins and the last few races have been disastrous. How do you approach this weekend?
“I don't have to race with the pressure to win because that's how you always lose. This is a strange championship because of the tyres, even our opponents have suffered and in fact at Brno no one expected these results in the race. The situation is not under control for many teams”.
Then there is the still unresolved issue of your contract with Ducati. How does this make you live the relationship with the team? Do your results on the track also derive from this?
“It is not the contract that has destabilized me, but the new tyre. The situation was stable and clear until last year, we had strong points and weak points, it must be said that in recent weeks we have raced in particular situations: in Jerez it was very hot and in Brno the track was not in optimal condition. I don't know how it will end with Ducati, but regardless of my future I don't accept a season like this and I don't want to be beaten by the tyres. We’ve all got along well as a team over the last few years and we want to continue working like this. Then we will find out what will happen in a short time".
Dovizioso: "A week full of meetings, now we know what to do"
As we said at Brno, we expected a different performance from both you and Ducati, which went well with Zarco, and the same thing happened in Jerez with Bagnaia. Are you studying their data?
“Absolutely yes, we have studied a lot these days. I went home but we had a lot of meetings with the engineers whom I must say worked really hard. Right now, we have to avoid copying, we just tried to understand what Zarco and Bagnaia did differently from us in these races”.
And have you succeeded?
“Brno was very difficult because it got worse, in these moments the reality comes out and that is what interests me to see the reasons for our performance in the last races. As I said, we have had a lot of meetings and thanks to the work of the technicians, details have emerged that will not be easy to put together. We are talking about really complicated things that do not concern the set-up of the bike, they are more on the side of the riding style and the approach with the bike, fine-tuning aspects that even the riders have a hard time understanding at times. It seems that I will not have to change anything on the bike ”.
Did Zarco and Bagnaia's speed help you?
“It was lucky to have Pecco and Zarco go so fast with the Ducati, so we have objective data to study to understand what I need to change and where the team can help me. Obviously, having done so well the last three years, everyone is surprised by these positions and to fix things we went in search of 100 aspects that turned out to be wrong ”.
This weekend you will also have the rear tyre change, with a different construction. Do you think it can help you?
“We certainly didn’t find the way with the old ones so the change shouldn't be a problem. Let's hope the new ones go better, we should focus on our way of riding. There is a small correct space in the use of the tyres, last year the Yamaha was not too far but this track suits us, I believe in my team and I hope we will do better. "
"KTM fighting for the world championship? Still early, but Binder was also strong in Jerez"
In addition to the new tyre, the weather could be an unknown factor this weekend. In such a complicated situation for you, could rain help to make things better?
“I obviously hope the race is dry because this is a strange track where we could have problems in slowing down. A lot of rubber is put down under braking and in the wet it is not possible. The wet tyres are the same as last year but this season we haven't raced in the rain yet ”.
As you said before, the Brno podium was unprecedented, above all the success of Binder and with the KTM. Do you think the Austrian bike is ready for the world championship?
"It is still too early to say, I expect there will be many ups and downs in 2020, the tyre is really particular."
Another issue in 2020 is the constant presence on the podium of satellite bikes. How do you read this situation?
“There are strong riders, even in private teams and today's MotoGP is experiencing an unusual situation. If we analyze Binder's pace in Race 1 at Jerez, we can see how, after the crash, he did 17 laps, 4 seconds faster than me, and he would have fought for the race win with Quartararo. In the satellite teams of Honda, Yamaha and Ducati the bikes are 100% official on certain occasions and those teams now have the same chances as us. Besides, the riders often have a contract with the factory team ”.