Andrea Dovizioso was not particularly incisive today in qualifying, but the performance obtained in FP2 in any case guaranteed him access to Q2 which then translated into a 12th position on the starting grid for tomorrow's race. All in all, the balance is on average positive, because given the lack of confidence between Dovizioso and the conditions in which qualifying took place, it could have been much worse.
Dovizioso is still perfectly in the battle for the world championship, but it is undeniable that the attention of many observers is more focussed on the rider's medium-term future than the short-term future of the last three Grands Prix of the season, which will obviously also be his last on the Ducati. In the meeting between journalists that followed qualifying, there was much talk about Dovizioso's future, a topic that will be addressed in even more detail in the coming days.
"There have been negotiations with Honda, we talked about it for several weeks - revealed Dovizioso - we talked about several things, frankly I will talk about my future shortly. There is no reason to wait, so I don’t want to bring everything out now. I will also explain this thing. It’s normal that there has been the subject of Honda, as with Yamaha, with KTM and with Aprilia. It is not linked to the situation that Marc is experiencing, I like to choose to do one thing when it is clear to me what I can to do. We will talk about it shortly anyway. "
Nobody knows Marquez's situation, but it is clear that it is unlikely that we will be able to see your duels with him at the last corner in the future. Have you ever thought about that?
"Yes, I've thought about it. When they continuously show the images of my duels with Marc it's cool. Seeing and reviewing those moments is wonderful. It was an honour to be able to fight against a champion like that and also be able to beat him in different situations. But careers go like this, it's normal. There is an evolution and unfortunately these things can't happen every year, it would be nice, I would sign up now to experience them ".
Your path with Ducati will soon come to an end. In your opinion, what is missing from this bike, what advice would you like to give to those who will come after you?
"I think the Ducati is missing two distinct and precise things. The first is the ability to adapt to the tyres. We have seen it this season, it is one of the most important things in today's MotoGP and the tyres in 2021 will remain the same as this year. I think the DNA of this Ducati is very similar to what it has always been. We have changed a lot of things, but the strong points remain the same, like the weak ones. It accelerates and brakes very well, but the ability to turn has not improved. We are talking about two very different areas in each case and also the way to solve these problems can be very complex. Gigi Dall'Igna can decide the path to choose with the other engineers, and I believe that for it will be important for them to stay very focused. "
Let's talk about today's qualifying. How did it go in your opinion?
"Not all our rivals are too far ahead and therefore I feel serene, but the reality is that there is a lack of confidence and speed. When that is the case, it is relative what rivals do because the problem is being fast enough to stay ahead. Tomorrow. we will all start from scratch and it will be the same for everyone, in the warm-up we will work to find the set-up for the race, it will be fundamental. Everything will be based on the right choice of tyres, we can only hope to do a good job ".
Usually in the wet you are very incisive. What was missing?
"In my opinion today there was no real wet condition, because I feel good in that situation and today it wasn't like that. It was half and half, I lacked the confidence to push hard, it was difficult for everyone, but in the end that's how it went ".
Pirro he carried out the tests here. Were you unable to use his data?
"I won't be able to exploit Pirro's information too much, the situation is very different than when he lapped. When you can get a tester to lap on a track a few days before the race, you can make good use of his work, you can get information on tyres and things like this. But he couldn't work too hard on the tyres, the situation was different than what we have this race weekend. I don't need his information because what I really lack is the confidence to go fast and Michele cannot help me in this. In the past I was able to make use of the data collected by Michele, then I worked following my system and it worked. Now the situation is very different ".
Are you expecting a straightforward race?
"As it is a race in which no one has been able to work well for the conditions that will be there, it will probably be strange. On paper the two Suzukis will be competitive, I expect they will be ahead. I think they will be able to get away, while Morbidelli, Quartararo and Vinales are all in a situation that is not too comfortable. Anything can happen, the choice of tyre will be decisive, tyre wear weighs a lot here. I'm not starting in front, but not too far back and I'm close to Quartararo and Morbidelli. It will be important to start well at the lights".