MotoGP Assen: Final eight laps cost Dovizioso podium

Picture: Gold&Goose

Andrea Dovizioso has said that his rear tyre gave him no chance to secure a podium in todays Dutch MotoGP in Assen.

The Italian was a part of the leading eight-man group for the majority of the race, battling right at the front of the pack until the closing stages of the race when Marc Marquez pulled away. However, with eight laps to go, Dovizioso said that his tyre totally fell away, costing him a chance of a podium.

“I think we put in a good race,” said Dovizioso. “We changed the set up and the balance and looks like it’s a bit better in the way we have to manage the tyre life and it’s given me a better feeling.

“But still we are not 100% happy because we lose in the last eight laps I didn’t have any more traction. That is why I couldn’t stay with Marc and why I couldn’t fight for the podium. That is the main point of the weekend.

“I am happy with the fourth position because the last eight laps I was struggling a lot, I didn’t have any more speed. I was fourth because I put myself in the right position in the right moment. Not because we were fast enough to be.

“I’m happy with the way I rode the bike in the race, but we have to try improve a little bit the way to manage the rear tyre because the difference from last year is when you lose the grip at the end of the race we are completely done. Last year we had a possibility to manage the consumption and we could be fast at the end of the race.

“This year with this tyre, we can’t. But this is the tyre and the characteristic and we have to try to adapt my style but also the bike to the tyre because also in Qatar where I won, I couldn’t make the difference in the last three laps so this confirms that the tyre is different. The difference is very small but when you are on the limit small things can be big things.”

Despite having no rear traction for the final eight laps, Dovizioso found himself in third position and lining up Rossi going into the first corner on the penultimate lap. Neither rider backed down and both ran wide. Dovi said that it was just a consequence of neither rider wanting to let the other get ahead.

“At that time, both riders, we would like to exit in front in Turn One,” he said. “But he was outside, so I controlled the brake. He released two times the brake and so I released two times the brake and we went a little bit long. But I didn’t make something crazy, and I stayed on the track.

“For example with Marc and Maverick, they did the same thing but they pushed a bit more and they went out of the track.

“So if I put myself in Valentino’s, I can understand because he lost for sure some positions.

“But I didn’t make something over the limit and I think he did a wrong decision. Because when you are on the outside, to release two times the brake, when on inside there is one of the hardest brakers, I think it is a bad idea at the end of the race. This is what happened. I’m sorry for him, but this is the reality.”

Dovizioso’s fourth place today, coupled with Marquez’ win now sees the Italian 61 points behind the World Championship leader. When asked if anyone could stop Marquez, Dovizioso said:

“If you look at the championship and this race, if you want to be objective, it’s very difficult but it’s not impossible.

“But in this moment I am not focused on that and I will not race to try to create some strange situation. I think we have to improve our negative points and at the end of the race we are still not strong enough. That is the point and we need to focus on that. When we are better at that we can think about different things. If you’re not okay in every area you can’t really fight with Marc when he has a lot of points.

“Today he managed the race in the right way but I don’t think he have a really a lot of speed compared to the others. I think the difference was very, very, very small but we arrived and everybody arrived on the limit at the end of the race and nobody could really put the pressure on him. I think the difference was very small.

“But for sure he was different. For sure he is working in an amazing way.”

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