Dovizioso ‘not happy, can’t ride how I want’

Andrea Dovizioso is some way off finding an ideal feeling on Friday at Mugello; “The base is not how I want. I cannot ride like I want. We have to improve.”
Dovizioso ‘not happy, can’t ride how I want’

Andrea Dovizioso has said he is currently unable to “ride how I want” at Mugello and believes the overall package of his Ducati’s Desmosedici GP19 “is still not goo enough” to fight for victory at the Italian Grand Prix.

Despite dropping down the order to finish FP2 with the eleventh fastest time, the 33-year old wasn’t overly concerned about his pace. “We are quite fast and better than the classification shows,” he said.

But his feelings aboard the GP19 were some way from ideal. In the morning he struggled with front feeling, while the afternoon provided more challenges, notably through Mugello’s fast changes of direction and in corner entry.

“The lap time is faster than last year, but from everybody unfortunately,” said the Italian. “Like we expected the competitors are a bit stronger than last year. We are quite fast and better than what the classification shows.

“I don’t have the feeling I want. So the situation is not bad but I’m not happy. The base is not how I want. I cannot ride like I want. We have to improve. We tried a different set-up in the afternoon and it was a big step. We found some positive things but the package is still not good enough.

“We have to find something and we have to see tomorrow morning if we can mix some of the things from the two set-ups. I’m struggling with the bike and not riding in the way I want. Not too bad, but we have the hardest practice tomorrow morning, then the race to be in the top ten.”

Pressed on what was specifically lacking from his feel, he said, “Still I don’t have the perfect feeling on the front. This morning the conditions were quite bad compared to the afternoon.

“In the afternoon I felt better. But still the change of the direction, I’m not good at all. The connection with the rear when I enter the corners is not stable enough.

“I’m struggling but like I say, the lap time at the beginning was good. If we compare the pace we are there. But I am focussed on my feeling more than the lap time.”

Dovizioso said it was unlikely he would use the carbon rear wheel cover, as debuted by wildcard and team-mate Michele Pirro in FP1, simply stating, “I still don’t have any feedback and it’s not in the plan.”

Was he surprised by the afternoon’s final classification, which saw class rookies Francesco Bagnaia and Fabio Quartararo place first and second?

“For sure they have a big talent. But I think it’s clear the reason why they’re fast here. You have to be smooth and fast in the middle of the corners; you don’t have to cut the middle of the corners like every MotoGP rider. For them it’s easier to go in that way.

“Maybe that’s reason why at some other tracks they weren’t fast like us. So this is the biggest reason. But for sure they don’t have a lot of experience so race-by-race they become stronger and stronger.”