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GP Week : Issue 188
Nuvolari look-alike Andrea Dovizioso, 125 champion in 2004, has spent the rest of his career on the verge of greatness. In 250s he played second fiddle to Pedrosa and Lorenzo; moving to MotoGP in 2008 he impressed enough to earn a factory Honda ride ... only to be overshadowed again by Pedrosa then stoner. He switched to Yamaha hoping to earn a works-team slot, and did well enough to deserve it, but was denied by Rossi’s return. Ducati gave him a lifeline, but hopes of turning round the red bikes’ fortunes after two disastrous years with Rossi have been on hold ever since, with the Desmosedici exhibiting the same old reluctance to steer well enough to be competitive. GPWeeK: Let’s begin with last weekend, when team-mate Nicky Hayden crashed into in the last corner, letting Bradley smith past both of you. ANDREA DOVIZIOSO: (laughs) That happened in the last corner, it was a little bit over, but just because he hit me and we went out. Anyway, it was not a problem because we weren’t fighting for important positions. I didn’t like losing two positions for an aggressive manoeuvre from Nicky – but it’s okay. Everyone can do that. It was a replay of Assen, except the other way round between you and Nicky. And smith gained a place there too. No – completely different. At Assen I didn’t hit him. I just brushed him. We were at the same level, and he tried to release the brake. I was inside so I decided to do the same. I released the brake two times, and there was no space to stop for the corner, so we went wide – but not because I pushed him wide. Happened the same thing with Bradley. Next time we are in the same situation we have to think about not doing anything aggressive. Ducati is having the same handling problems now as last year. Are you angry about the lack of progress? Not angry but frustrated. I expected this situation at the beginning but I thought we could start to improve, but until now – we didn’t. There is high motivation from everybody ... the people working in Italy and at the weekend of the race, but ... we still didn’t fix. Frustrating. How do you keep the faith? Do you know something we don’t about what is coming from Ducati? (Laughs) When you are in this situation it is really hard for everybody, but especially for the motivation of the riders. You go in the weekend and you know ... you can’t really improve the situation. But it is one part of a professional rider, so I have to try to control this. To try use your maximum potential is quite easy, but in bikes the good point is you can give a little bit more than 100 percent, and in this situation it is difficult, sure. But I am focused to improve the situation. From the outside it is difficult to see what happens in Ducati and how much we are working, but we are really working. The reality is we have to improve the situation but what we made until now is not enough. That’s why I must press you: is there something coming that you know about – a new chassis for instance? In this moment, no. But I still believe in this project. It’s not easy but I am determined. The bike’s handling problems are well known. What do you want to do to the bike? It’s always the same story. I think it has happened for two or three years. I don’t see one important good point to try to use to be close to the fastest bikes. We have in some areas a very small gap, but in some parts is big. We have to improve in every area. The comparison is always difficult. The other bikes are also not always right, completely 100 percent. If we check in the past the situation was different: the level of Honda and Yamaha were quite far compared to now. I remember the first time I went in Honda, that bike was good but still it had a lot of problems. Some years Honda can be quite bad, some years really special. Like now. A few years ago Ducati wasn’t the best bike, but I think the difference wasn’t that far, as it is now. The gap in the race now is quite bad. This is the reality. continued over page 5 MInuTES WITh AndREA dOvIZIOSO MICHAeL sCOTT talks to Italian factory Ducati rider, 'Dovi' 5 MINUTES 18 GPWEEK.com // 18 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: