Dovizioso: Today we almost did nothing

Andrea Dovizioso feels “nothing” was successfully completed on Ducati’s 2019 MotoGP testing due to rain
Dovizioso: Today we almost did nothing

Andrea Dovizioso feels “nothing” was successfully completed on Ducati’s first day of 2019 MotoGP testing as his programme was curtailed by heavy rain at Valencia.

The Italian rider completed 38 laps on the opening day of the first winter test held at Circuit Ricardo Tormo following the 2018 final round and spent the majority of his track time finding a comparable dry set-up with the GP18-specification bike having been unable to do so during the race weekend in the wet conditions.



But after finding a useful base set-up for a reference to the GP19, the rain returned for the final 90 minutes of track time to leave the Valencia MotoGP race-winner feeling nothing was achieved for his 2019 efforts.

Dovizioso confirmed the primary focus for this winter will be on chassis and balance tweaks having felt Ducati ended this season with the most complete package of its MotoGP rivals but concedes the test work can only be reliable in representative dry track conditions.

“We couldn’t work on the new bike because we want to create the base with the 2018 bike because we couldn’t ride in the dry during the weekend,” Dovizioso said. “With the work we have to do it is not easy to feel the differences when you make comparisons so you have to be clear, we have to do good work to understand the differences.

“That is why we wanted to create the base and after that start to compare to the new bike but when we were ready it started to rain so today we almost did nothing.

“I don’t expect huge things because fortunately now we have a really good base and now we are working on the details. Those kind of details are not easy to feel.

“When you try a new engine it is quite easy to understand the differences and what you want and what you need. But when you try something on the chassis or the balance of the bike it is big work and very difficult to understand. That’s why we wanted to do it in the most precise way to understand it.”

Dovizioso fears the concluding day of the Valencia test could also be hampered by poor weather, with overnight rain setting in, which is likely to delay track action tomorrow morning until it is dry.

The majority of MotoGP riders didn’t venture out on track until midday at Valencia due to a wet track from Monday’s rain.

“It started to rain again so tomorrow we’ll have to see the conditions,” he said. “The conditions have to be good to make comparisons as it is not just about trying the new bike.

“We have to take important decisions now for the winter and for the next bike so it is very important to make the right test to understand the maximum you can to take the right decision.

“Fortunately our situation with the engine means I am not worried about as we would like to work on the chassis and the balance of the bike, this is what we need and what we are focused on now. But we need conditions to try.”

Dovizioso ended day one of the Valencia test fourth fastest with a 1m 31.846s, 0.430s off pace-setter Maverick Vinales on the factory Yamaha, and half a second slower than his qualifying time from the weekend set in dry conditions.